ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A new Pentagon policy brings some relief to transgender military retirees and children of active-duty service members.
Starting Monday, the military’s health insurance will cover transgender-related services that include hormone therapy and supportive counseling.
The change follows the decision in June to allow transgender members to serve in the military. Roughly 7 million retirees and children who use the same health insurance will get many of the same benefits.
The policy comes with some controversy. Transgender advocates fault it because it covers gender-reassignment surgery only for active-duty personnel, not retirees or dependents. A conservative group says the benefits are expensive and lack military purpose.
The expanded coverage helps transgender teens like Jenn Brewer of Virginia, who says she attempted suicide after being bullied this year. The change puts support for Jenn’s mental and physical wellbeing during her transition within reach.