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Cincinnati to cover employee gender reassignment surgery

Cincinnati to cover employee gender reassignment surgery

Cincinnati will offer coverage for medically necessary transgender procedures under its employee health care plans beginning in 2015, according to city officials.

Interim City Manager Scott Stiles last week authorized the city's group health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, to add gender reassignment surgery to its scope of covered services under its active employee health plans, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Coverage for gender reassignment surgery will include a lifetime limit of $75,000 per covered individual. The lifetime limit does not include mental health services or hormone replacement services, which the city already covers, according to Mr. Stiles' Aug. 22 letter to Anthem authorizing the coverage expansion.

The change to the city's group health benefit plans was made at the behest of a coalition of Cincinnati City Council members led by Chris Seelbach, the council's first openly gay member.

Approximately 5% of U.S. cities and 46% of U.S.-based companies currently offer comprehensive transgender health care benefits, according to the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.

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