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Arizona, UA professor settle over gender affirming care for state employees

A federal judge has approved a settlement between the state and an University of Arizona professor that prohibits the exclusion of gender affirming care from state employee health plans.

The plan in question previously barred coverage for gender reassignment surgery even when it was deemed a medically necessary treatment.

That was partially remedied in June, when Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order for the Department of Administration to remove language exempting the surgery from health-care policies.

Friday’s ruling now requires state employee health plans to evaluate claims for surgical care to treat gender dysphoria.

The judge also awarded professor Russell Toomey $375,000 in legal fees accrued since the lawsuit was filed in 2019.

Toomey sued to require the state to cover the costs for a hysterectomy. He said the procedure was medically necessary due to gender dysphoria. 

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Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.