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Transgender state employee sues PA, claims insurance denials of gender reassignment surgery violates his civil rights

HARRISBURG — A transgender state employee is suing Pennsylvania in federal court. In a lawsuit, the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, claims that hi...
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HARRISBURG — A transgender state employee is suing Pennsylvania in federal court.

In a lawsuit, the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, claims that his civil rights were violated when his health insurance provider excluded gender reassignment surgery from its coverage. And because Doe was repeatedly denied coverage for the surgery, he suffered severe emotional distress, physical pain and had thoughts of suicide, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the surgery was medically necessary for Doe due to his gender dysphoria.

He had been receiving gender-affirming medical and behavioral health treatment since May 2014, which includes behavioral health counseling and hormone therapy, and his surgeon advised in 2016 that the surgery was necessary to alleviate the gender dysphoria.

The exclusion was removed in 2018 and Doe eventually underwent surgery, but he is suing the state for compensatory damages of $150,000 for what he went through when he was denied treatment.