By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado health officials announced an expansion to the state’s health plans on Tuesday. The expansions will focus on mental health and pain management.

(credit: CBS)

READ MORE: Foothills Animal Shelter Hosting 'Home For The Holidays' Deal This Month

That includes making sure that gender affirmation treatments are an essential benefit. That’s something that is a first in the U.S.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: More Than 20% Of Children 5-11 Received First Dose

“For too long, transgender people have faced barriers that made it difficult to access doctors, affordable coverage and medical treatments,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Gender-affirming care can be life-saving.”

MORE NEWS: 72-Year-Old Skier From Boulder Killed In Collision With Snowboarder At Eldora Ski Area

The new rules also address the opioid crisis by looking at how the medications are prescribed and considering alternatives to address pain as a mental health crisis.

Jennifer McRae