All providers of health insurance in the US state of Connecticut will now be required to cover gender reassignment and hormone therapy for those with gender dysphoria, the state insurance department has ordered.

According to the Hartford Courant, the state agency sent a notice to all insurance companies making the order.

It said: “Individuals with gender dysphoria [should not be] denied access to medically necessary care because of the individuals’ gender identity or gender expression.”

State officials are also going further to emphasise the importance of the new policy.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling, said that she intended to “go out an affirmatively make [the new policy] very clear.”

Members of the LGBT community have commended the changed policy.

Zack Paakonen, an attorney with the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, said: “In some cases, transgender individuals would try to get coverage for this treatment and be categorically denied … which led to people paying out of pocket or forgoing their treatment altogether.”

Insurers have been given 90 days to comply with the new policy.

Connecticut now joins the states of California, Colorado, Vermont and Oregon, as well as Washington DC, which all require insurance companies to provide such coverage.