Transgender Law Center commends a resolution issued today that will remove healthcare exclusions affecting transgender employees of the state of Maryland and establish a clear process for them to access the health care they need. The case was brought by FreeState Legal, representing Sailor Holobaugh, a transgender University of Maryland employee who was denied coverage for a medically necessary procedure. FreeState and Holobaugh argued that transgender healthcare exclusions violate the provisions of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act passed earlier this year, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.
In response to the complaint, it was decided that not only would Holobaugh receive compensation for his particular medical expenses, but that the Maryland Department of Budget and Management, which has now eliminated its “Sex Reassignment Exclusion”, would establish a new “Gender Dysphoria Benefit” for Maryland state employees’ healthcare plans. This will make it possible for all employees of the state to receive coverage for medically necessary care, including hormone and surgical treatment.
With this decision, Maryland has become the fourth state to offer transition-related healthcare for state employees, joining California, Oregon, and Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia. However, as the scope of the decision is still limited only to those employed by the state, Transgender Law Center continues to urge Maryland to enact an ordinance removing transgender exclusions from all insurance plans. Currently seven states (Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) as well as the District of Columbia, have policies in place that prohibit private insurance plans from enacting this form of discrimination. Transgender Law Center is proud to have been a part of these efforts in California and elsewhere and continues to advocate for necessary medical care nationwide.