Wisconsin is now paying for sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapy for state employees as part of their health care coverage.
Beginning Jan. 1, the state’s Group Insurance Board began covering hormone treatments and sex change operations for state employees suffering from gender dysphoria, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.
The move comes after the board had previously excluded coverage of gender transition surgeries. Because such procedures were not covered by the state, the state was sued by transgender employees who were refused coverage. They were represented by the left-leaning nonprofit legal group the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU argued that gender transition procedures are “medically necessary” and the state’s rules banning coverage violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The plaintiff’s argument relied on an Obama-era interpretation of Title VII law that extended discrimination protections on the basis of sex to include protections on the basis of gender identity even though gender identity is not explicitly stated in the law’s language.
A federal judge sided with the plaintiffs and ordered the state to pay $780,000 for failing to provide the coverage. The same judge ruled earlier in the year that the state was also required to pay for gender transition procedures for Medicaid recipients.
Wren Logan, a trans-identified medical resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, plans to seek transition surgery for the upper and lower body so that it better reflects Logan’s gender identity, not biological sex.
“So much of the world sees me and treats me as though I am a man dressing as a woman or somehow like … there’s something wrong about what I’m doing,” Logan told WPR, adding there is still a requirement to prove that the surgery is medically necessary.
Although Wisconsin’s Group Insurance Board initially approved the coverage of gender transition procedures in 2016, it reversed the policy at the request of now-outgoing Gov. Scott Walker.
In 2016, the Obama administration enacted Obamacare regulations requiring doctors, health care providers, and insurers to perform, provide and cover gender transition procedures and treatments.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith