Boston councilors pitch gender identity health insurance coverage

boston city hall plaza pride flag gay marriage same-sex marriage
A gay pride flag flies outside of Boston City Hall. Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro file photo

A pair of Boston city councilors have pitched an order that would forbid the city to contract with any health insurance company that discriminates against gender identity or expression.

The proposal, submitted for consideration ahead of Wednesday’s City Council meeting, was filed by councilors Michelle Wu and Ayanna Pressley. (The entire proposed ordinance can be read below).

The councilors stated in the proposed ordinance that mental health services, hormones and surgery should not be excluded from coverage when medically necessary for people diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria.

“For many people diagnosed with GD, pursing transition-related care is the only safe and effective medical treatment option. This may include mental health services, hormones, surgery, and other services. Therefore, it should not be excluded from coverage when it is medically necessary,” Wu and Pressley wrote in the proposal.

The councilors also said in the ordinance that covering gender transition-related surgeries improves the health of transgender people and may save money in the long run. They cited Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. as cities that provide coverage for transition-related care for city employees. Also, the councilors said Portland, Ore., experienced a 0.08 percent increase in costs after removing exclusions on coverage of transition-related care for city employees.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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