HRC Blog

Long Beach Joins Growing List of Cities with Trans-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits

Post submitted by Adam Bradley, HRC Communications Intern

The city of Long Beach, CA, has officially incorporated transgender-inclusive healthcare as part of the benefits package offered to all city employees. The move, which will soon be implemented, guarantees transgender workers access to basic emergency and medical care, which in the past could be denied for a number of reasons, including potential hormone complications and lack of proper equipment or training.

CalPERS, the city’s pension management agency, voted on June 19 to implement trans-inclusive healthcare in all of their health plans, clearing the biggest hurdle for trans health advocates. On August 2, an official memo confirmed that Anthem Blue Cross, the healthcare provider for Long Beach, will "add transgender benefits to their approved list of services and eliminate the exclusion for sex change procedures."

The initiative in Long Beach mirrors LGBT advocacy efforts in cities across the country. With actions like these, cities demonstrate leadership on matters of equality.  This is happening at the local level across the country: where states and the federal government have failed to act, municipalities have stepped up.  More than 170 cities and counties across the country have passed non-discrimination laws that protect their LGBT constituents.  HRC’s Municipal Equality Index demonstrates the ways that many cities can – and do – serve the LGBT people who live and work in those cities. Read the Municipal Equality Index report here, and click here to see the detailed scorecards for the 137 cities the MEI rated in 2012.  The 2013 Municipal Equality Index is rating 291 cities and will be released this fall.

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