Federal workers will be eligible for sex-change operations next year through some of the government’s employee health-insurance plans.

Aetna, which participates in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, announced last month that it will cover gender-reassignment surgeries for federal employee members in all 50 states.

About 121,000 federal workers used the insurance provider last year, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.


Aetna, one of the insurance providers for federal employees, will cover transgender care starting next year. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The decision to help pay for sex changes places Aetna among the first carriers in the federal employee health program to include such coverage. “Aetna has long been supportive of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,” the company said in a statement last month.

Other providers covering transgender care include Kaiser, which enrolled 240,000 federal workers last year, and the Foreign Service Benefit plan, for members of the American Foreign Service Protective Association.

The companies enacted the policy changes after the federal Office of Personnel Management announced this summer that it would end a ban on transgender care by its carriers.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, the most popular carrier within the federal network, with more than 2.6 million government enrollees last year, will not cover transgender care next year.