Thursday, June 12, 2014

Boston Transgender Advancement

On Wednesday the Boston City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance ensuring that the City does not contract with any health insurance provider that does not provide comprehensive coverage for gender therapy services, including mental health care, hormone therapy & other transition-related care for transgender City employees. Kara Coredini, Executive Director of MassEquality stated, “This is a modest proposal that will have a profound impact on the lives of transgender municipal workers. We applaud Councilors Ayanna Pressley & Michelle Wu for introducing the ordinance & the Council members who co-sponsored it & voted to pass it. Their action today is an important next step in Boston’s continuing leadership on transgender equality & we hope that the state will soon follow Boston’s lead as it has so many times on issues of LGBTQ equality.” Introduced by City Councilors Ayanna Pressley & Michelle Wu in mid-April, the ordinance received the support of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh & the city’s Public Employees Committee which recently voted to ensure that the city’s insurance plans to accommodate increased access to gender therapy services for Boston employees. Though the ordinance passed unanimously this is a very small step in ensuring that all transgender people in the state are provided comprehensive insurance coverage. Currently, there are 17,000 Boston municipal workers whose insurance coverage will be impacted by this change. Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont & California have also amended their state policies to ensure that health insurers do not discriminate against transgender individuals.
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