Nevada Governor Signs Bill Requiring Insurance Coverage For Trans Procedures

Insurance companies in Nevada might be forced to pay for transgender procedures, even for minors after Republican Governor Joe Lombardo signed into law a bill to that effect. The legislation requires insurance companies to cover transgender procedures, including surgeries for minors. 

The bill, known as SB 163, states that insurance policies must include coverage for the medically necessary treatment of gender dysphoria and gender incongruence. This includes psychosocial and surgical interventions, as well as any other medically necessary treatments for these conditions. 

However, the law does allow insurance providers, including Medicaid, to establish specific criteria that must be met before covering transgender procedures on minors. This gives them the ability to consult guidelines set forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health when considering procedures like double mastectomies for individuals identifying as the opposite gender. 

Additionally, parental consent is required for minors, unless they are authorized by law to consent on their own behalf.

Governor Lombardo faced criticism from fellow Republicans, including Nevada RNC Committeewoman Sigal Chattah, who called him a “laughingstock across the nation” for signing the bill which every GOP lawmaker in Nevada kicked against.

Chattah even suggested that Lombardo’s decision was politically motivated, claiming that he did so to gain Democrat support for relocating the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team to Las Vegas. 

Critics of the law have raised concerns about its potential impact on religious insurance providers who may have moral objections to covering transgender procedures. They argue that the law fails to provide protection for religious organizations affiliated with insurers and conflicts with the guarantee of religious liberty enshrined in the Constitution.

Lombardo’s seems like a complete detour from the Republican route as some Republican governors in other states have taken a different approach by banning such procedures for those under 18.

However, Lombardo defended the bill, urging people to read the bill in its entirety before forming an opinion. “I implore people to read the bill in its entirety. And you will see it’s not as draconian or detrimental or immoral as people are portraying it to be,” he said.

The law is scheduled to take effect on July 1, but its implementation remains a topic of heated debate.