In a major win for LGBT advocates, the state of Wisconsin and its insurers will now cover transgender employees’ transition-related medical care, including hormone therapy and surgery. As The Daily Beast previously reported, Wisconsin previously ended its exclusion of those benefits in January 2017 after the Group Insurance Board voted unanimously in favor of doing so in 2016. But the state reversed that decision in February 2017 after Governor Scott Walker put pressure on the GIB to rescind the health care offerings.
That sudden reversal was challenging for transgender state employees, who told The Daily Beast that the coverage they were seeking would now be indefinitely delayed. Then, in August 2017, the GIB decided again to add transition-related health coverage in the midst of a legal challenge from two UW-Madison employees over the exclusion. U.S. District Court Judge William Conley further cemented the policy shift with a September ruling deeming the GIB’s exclusion a violation of the Civil Rights Act. The benefits became effective as of January 1.