Washington State to Implement Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare for Public Employees
August 7, 2014 by Jeremy Pittman, Deputy Field Director
Last week, the Washington State Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB) voted to support transgender-inclusive healthcare for public employees. The PEBB purchases and coordinates health insurance benefits for eligible public-sector employees and retirees, including employees of the state, state universities, and many local and regional government agencies and school districts.
HRC is a member of the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare, which advocated for the PEBB policy changes. In a press release about the changes, the Coalition reports that individuals enrolled in health insurance plans through the PEBB will have access to hormones, mental health, and other non-surgical healthcare services beginning in January of next year, with access to surgical services to follow in July.
Thanks to all the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare member organizations that advocated for these commonsense policies. Leading the charge were the Pride Foundation, Legal Voice, and the Ingersoll Gender Center.
Though the state Insurance Commissioner recently clarified that insurance companies in the state cannot discriminate against transgender people, the unfortunate reality is that nearly all insurance plans in Washington categorically exclude coverage for transition-related medical treatment.
To find out more about transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, check out HRC's resources on Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents.
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