June Leffler Published

Trans Health Care Case Moves Forward in W. Va.


A legal case by three transgender West Virginians against the state’s top health officials can move forward, following a decision this week in federal court.

The plaintiffs, represented by the nation’s largest legal firm advocating for LGBTQ rights, filed their class action lawsuit in November.

The complaint is against the state Department of Health and Human Resources, which runs the West Virginia Medicaid program, and the state Public Employees Insurance Agency.

These agencies asked a federal judge to dismiss the case in January. Now that the judge has denied that request, the case can move forward.

The plaintiffs say the state Medicaid program and PEIA are discriminating against low-income transgender members by denying coverage for gender-confirming care.

Gender-confirming care refers to treatments like hormonal replacement therapy or surgery that better align a person’s body to their gender identity.

Emily Allen contributed to this story.