Pentagon to cover gender reassignment surgery for transgender active-duty troops

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The Department of Defense will now cover gender reassignment surgery for active duty troops if it is deemed medically necessary by their acting physician and approved by senior military health officials, according to the Military Times.

DOD officials confirmed the change in policy after incarcerated army private Chelsea Manning was granted authorization to undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

Under the new policy, active military personnel seeking surgery must have a personal transition plan approved by a military physician. All surgeries will be conducted at either a military hospital or a private hospital paid by Tricare if a military hospital is unavailable, according to the article.

DOD officials said the benefit does not apply to non-active duty Tricare beneficiaries. Starting on Oct. 3, the military health program will cover therapy and hormone treatments for non-active duty beneficiaries, but not surgery.

According to an article in USA Today, at least five active duty troops are pursuing treatment outside the military healthcare system. At least one member is seeking gender reassignment surgery.

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