Starting the first week of October, the government will pay for gender reassignment treatments and surgeries for eligible soldiers — an estimated expense between $2.4 million to $8.4 million per year.

There are between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender troops in the active-duty force of 1.3 million, according the RAND Corp. which conducted a studyfor the Pentagon. Of those troops, RAND estimates that between 30 and 140 would like hormone treatment, and 25 to 130 would seek surgery.

The Defense Department policy states if a service member’s ability to serve is hindered by a “medical condition or medical treatment related to their gender identity,” they will be treated. When an active duty service member receives approval from a military medical provider to undergo gender transition, the commander must approve the timing of medical treatment.

Defense Department spokesman Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson said starting Oct. 3, the military health program will cover therapy and hormone treatments for Tricare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria. According to Sakrisson, gender reassignment surgeries for active-duty personnel will be conducted at either a military hospital or, if qualified care is unavailable at a military facility, at a private hospital paid by Tricare.

Read More- USA Today

Image courtesy of AP