Groundbreaking Decision in Cruz v. Zucker

October 28, 2016

A federal judge issued an order requiring New York State to remove restrictions on medically necessary healthcare for transgender Medicaid recipients under age 18.

On October 24, District Court Judge Jed Rakoff issued an order requiring New York State to remove restrictions on medically necessary healthcare for transgender Medicaid recipients under the age of 18.  Under the ruling, New York will be one of few states where transgender individuals under the age of 18 can obtain Medicaid coverage for hormone therapy and transition-related surgeries.  The decision came in Cruz v. Zucker, 14 Civ. 4456 (JSR), a class action lawsuit against the New York State Department of Health (DOH) filed by The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, The Legal Aid Society and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP on behalf of Medicaid-eligible transgender individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria.  Judge Rakoff’s ruling comes after a string of victories on behalf of our clients.

The case has been the subject of extensive press coverage, including being described as a “health care milestone” by The New York Times as well as profiled by The Wall Street Journal.

The Willkie team consisted of partners Mary Eaton and Wesley Powell and associates Norman Ostrove, Arthur Biller, Christopher McNamara, Nicolas Heliotis and Timothy Fleming.