Author Topic: Question for US Veterans - what has VA actually covered for you, medically?  (Read 250 times)

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Offline TSL_NB

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For those of us in the US (or in my case, a Canadian who served in the US Navy) who are covered by VA, I've heard of the transgender health policies described as being 'written in pencil.'  (Just because they get revised so many times)

I have a pretty good idea of what VA supports, but I'm reading some accounts from other veterans who are transitioning who have shared some pretty mixed stories.

I'm curious to know from other veterans here, regardless of what the instruction says (even though what's in writing is what should apply),  what has VA actually covered for you, medically?
 
It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

Offline MxRileyQuinn

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I served seven years in the USAF and have come out to the VA as transgender.  They confirmed my evaluation and diagnosis from a civilian therapist of being transgender with their own evaluation and diagnosis, which, while annoying and a bit of a delay was actually pretty simple since I'd already been through all of that with the civilian therapist. 

Once that was done I was referred to the VA's Transgender Medical Services section where they assigned me to a case management doctor (who I've never met, but have conversed with over the phone...turns out she's a regional director) who then referred me to a local VA endocrinologist.  The VA endo sees me every three months to go over my bloodwork and adjust my HRT as/if needed. 

The VA has covered my HRT completely, they are covering my voice lessons completely, and they have offered (through my endo) to cover tucking gaffs and "prosthesis" (breastforms and genital forms)...the tucking gaffs were meh compared to the ones I bought through the Breastform Store in Canada (wonderful company) but they do work.  I have not gotten them to provide me with any prosthesis yet.  They are offering depilatory creams or similar at no-cost to me, but I have to work through my PCP to get the referral to dermatology first (that appointment is coming this month).  They have provided mental health care throughout all of this at no cost to me, and everyone on the LGBT+ care side of the VA has actually been absolutely wonderful.  Even the folks in only semi-associated offices (like the endocrinology front office staff) have been great. 

The VA will not cover any surgeries, to include hair removal.  That part kinda sucks, especially since I really, really, REALLY am desperate for hair removal services.
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Offline Devlyn

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I served seven years in the USAF and have come out to the VA as transgender.  They confirmed my evaluation and diagnosis from a civilian therapist of being transgender with their own evaluation and diagnosis, which, while annoying and a bit of a delay was actually pretty simple since I'd already been through all of that with the civilian therapist. 

Once that was done I was referred to the VA's Transgender Medical Services section where they assigned me to a case management doctor (who I've never met, but have conversed with over the phone...turns out she's a regional director) who then referred me to a local VA endocrinologist.  The VA endo sees me every three months to go over my bloodwork and adjust my HRT as/if needed. 

The VA has covered my HRT completely, they are covering my voice lessons completely, and they have offered (through my endo) to cover tucking gaffs and "prosthesis" (breastforms and genital forms)...the tucking gaffs were meh compared to the ones I bought through the Breastform Store in Canada (wonderful company) but they do work.  I have not gotten them to provide me with any prosthesis yet.  They are offering depilatory creams or similar at no-cost to me, but I have to work through my PCP to get the referral to dermatology first (that appointment is coming this month).  They have provided mental health care throughout all of this at no cost to me, and everyone on the LGBT+ care side of the VA has actually been absolutely wonderful.  Even the folks in only semi-associated offices (like the endocrinology front office staff) have been great. 

The VA will not cover any surgeries, to include hair removal.  That part kinda sucks, especially since I really, really, REALLY am desperate for hair removal services.

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Offline TSL_NB

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I served seven years in the USAF and have come out to the VA as transgender.  They confirmed my evaluation and diagnosis from a civilian therapist of being transgender with their own evaluation and diagnosis, which, while annoying and a bit of a delay was actually pretty simple since I'd already been through all of that with the civilian therapist. 

Once that was done I was referred to the VA's Transgender Medical Services section where they assigned me to a case management doctor (who I've never met, but have conversed with over the phone...turns out she's a regional director) who then referred me to a local VA endocrinologist.  The VA endo sees me every three months to go over my bloodwork and adjust my HRT as/if needed. 

The VA has covered my HRT completely, they are covering my voice lessons completely, and they have offered (through my endo) to cover tucking gaffs and "prosthesis" (breastforms and genital forms)...the tucking gaffs were meh compared to the ones I bought through the Breastform Store in Canada (wonderful company) but they do work.  I have not gotten them to provide me with any prosthesis yet.  They are offering depilatory creams or similar at no-cost to me, but I have to work through my PCP to get the referral to dermatology first (that appointment is coming this month).  They have provided mental health care throughout all of this at no cost to me, and everyone on the LGBT+ care side of the VA has actually been absolutely wonderful.  Even the folks in only semi-associated offices (like the endocrinology front office staff) have been great. 

The VA will not cover any surgeries, to include hair removal.  That part kinda sucks, especially since I really, really, REALLY am desperate for hair removal services.

Thanks for that info, MxRileyQuinn, and thank you for your service. :)  (Like Devlyn said, if you go to the Roll Call thread, a whole bunch of other folks are there, too).

They never mentioned the depilatory creams as being covered...I'll be asking them about that.

Agreed, the hair removal part is frustrating.  And, also, I wouldn't have expected them to cover anything hair-restoration related either, as that surgery is even more expensive....but, who knows, maybe after November, the rules will be revised in our favour again?  (it never hurts to dream)   

But, apparently, for certain hair systems (wigs, toppers, etc.), one salon in NJ is still saying that VA covers their cost for hair replacement, so I'm looking a lot more into that, too (I thought they stopped doing that back in 2018, but this business is insisting VA is still opting to cover them). 

But, for me a lot of this is on hold until the Canadian/US border is relaxed a bit more.  I just don't feel like dealing with that hassle (and, Medicare here in my province covers some of it, too....I just want to get it all documented with VA, too).

It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

Offline Rakel

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In my experience, the VA provides the following services:

1. Mental health counseling
2. Medications
3. Lab tests
4. Voice training
5. Surgery to treat service connected injuries to the genitals, but not elective GCS

Other services may be allowed on a case by case basis and if not available at any VA facility, these services may be contracted to outside providers.