A new insurance claims data report using information from the Atlas All-Payor Claims Dataset reveals that Alaska is among the top states experiencing a dramatic increase in medical and mental health diagnoses of gender dysphoria, a mental health condition in which a person believes they are born with the wrong sexual organs.
Alaska has witnessed the fourth-highest surge in insurance claims related to transgender or gender dysphoria cases, registering a 183% increase from 2018 to 2022.
In that timespan, the report showed that 49 out of 50 U.S. states experienced a remarkable increase in gender dysphoria diagnoses. South Dakota was the sole exception, with a decrease in the number of residents identifying as a different gender than they were born with, as outlined in the report.
Virginia, Indiana, Utah, and Alaska saw the highest rise in gender dysphoria diagnoses among U.S. states.
A significant portion of individuals seeking gender-shifting care, which can include irreversible surgeries, hormone therapies, and other treatments, are under the age of 18. The report indicated that young people now make up approximately 18% of Americans with gender dysphoria, a notable increase from the 10% reported in 2016.
Transgenders are less likely to have college degrees, or be employed, insured, or married, the report said. Additionally, transgender individuals reported having more days of poor mental and physical health compared to their non-transgender peers, according to the data.
Insurance claims for mental services among those with gender dysphoria exploded in the period studied, with 60-minute sessions increasing 127% from 2019 to 2022 (data for 2018 was not available). Insurance claims for 45-minute sessions jumped more than 77% from 2018 to 2022, while claims for 30-minute sessions grew a whopping 177%.
Other common mental health services for patients with gender dysphoria include group and family psychotherapy.
Some states have banned the drastic medical treatments that doctors refer to as “gender-affirming care” for those under the age of 18. Alaska is not one of those states.
Ohio was the 23rd state to ban the treatments for youth, although the state’s Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed the ban; he has since seen that veto overridden by the State House.
The report itself shows a clear bias toward transgender treatment for children and youth, stating that laws banning the gender hormone and surgical treatments for youth have a negative health impact on these individuals.
“Nearly every mainstream medical organization asserts that gender-affirming healthcare, including mental health services and hormone therapy, improves transgender folks’ quality of life and constitutes medically necessary care,” the report states.