US District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez has affirmed a final consent decree in Toomey v. State of Arizona, prohibiting Arizona from denying gender-affirming care in state health insurance plans. The decree includes four provisions, such as the requirement for state health plans to evaluate requests for coverage for gender-affirming treatments and surgeries the same way they do for other healthcare coverage. The case was originally filed in 2019 by Russell Toomey, who alleged he was denied gender-affirming care to aid in his transition, which he claimed was sex-based discrimination and a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
Arizona Banned From Excluding Gender-Affirming Care in State Health Plans
US District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez confirmed the final consent decree in the Toomey v. State of Arizona case, prohibiting Arizona from denying gender-affirming care in state health insurance plans.
The decree consists of four main provisions: permanent injunction against the state from excluding gender-affirming care from its health plans, a mandate for the state health plans to assess requests for gender-affirming treatments and surgeries coverage on par with other healthcare coverage, the invalidity of any conflicting state statutes or rules, and the state’s obligation to cover the plaintiff’s attorney fees. Judge Marquez confirmed that the decree complies with requisite legal standards for class action settlements.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, the plaintiff’s attorneys, expressed delight at the confirmation, saying it puts an end to a five-year-long litigation and permanently prevents Arizona from excluding gender-affirming care from its employee health plans.
The case was initiated in 2019 by Russell Toomey, a University of Arizona Associate Professor. He contended that the denial of his gender-affirming care constituted sex-based discrimination, violating the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. In June, an executive order was signed by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, guaranteeing coverage of gender-affirming medical care by state health plans.