DC orders insurers to cover sex-change surgery

      WASHINGTON (AP) - Insurance companies in the District of Columbia have been ordered to stop denying coverage to transgender residents seeking gender-reassignment surgery.

      Mayor Vincent Gray says the new rules will end health-care discrimination against the transgender population and put "the district at the forefront of advancing the rights of transgender individuals."

      A bulletin issued Thursday by the city's Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking says that gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition. It says the various forms of treatment for that condition, including sex-change procedures, are covered benefits.

      Gray says people with gender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder, "should not have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary treatment." The mayor is a Democrat who is seeking re-election.

      The city already has laws banning discrimination against transgender people.