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Exclusion Barring State Employees From Transgender Surgery Coverage To Be Removed Jan. 1

Change Comes After Group Insurance Board Reversed Itself In August

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David Goldman/AP Photo

State of Wisconsin employees who are transgender will soon have one less hurdle to get hormones and gender affirming surgery.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 1, an insurance exclusion for transgender surgery will be removed.

Wren Logan is a medical resident at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She plans to seek top and bottom surgery so that her body reflects her gender identity.

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“So much of the world sees me and treats me as though I am a man dressing as a woman or somehow like … there’s something wrong about what I’m doing,” said Logan.

Wren said while most insurance companies provide the surgeries, she still must make a case to her insurer that the procedures are medically necessary.

“It’s hard sometimes to just be able to sit with the fact that who I am and what I am isn’t in alignment with my body,” she said.

In August, the state’s Group Insurance Board reversed itself to vote in favor of hormone and gender surgery coverage for state employees.

The board approved the coverage in 2016 but it reversed course last year at the request of Gov. Scott Walker. It reconsidered the policy after two state workers sued and a federal judge ruled in a different lawsuit that the state could not prohibit Medicaid funds for gender reassignment surgery.

This September, federal judge William Conley of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that denying transition-related care for state workers is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

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