Coverage for city employees includes hormone therapy, gender-confirmation surgery.
by Lourdes Zavaleta
May 29, 2018
Despite the repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in 2015, City officials are doubling down on their support for transgender equality.
Communications director Alan Bernstein confirmed to OutSmart that the City is now offering comprehensive trans-inclusive health benefits to municipal employees. Bernstein said the City added the benefits to comply with nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Lou Weaver, transgender programs coordinator at Equality Texas and a former co-chair of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, called the addition of trans healthcare benefits for City employees a “huge win in Houston and in Texas.”
“As far as City employees go, no one’s health is being excluded,” Weaver said. “This is a message that shows that the City of Houston is going to do everything that it can to take care of its trans employees. Whether these employees are current or future, they now know that the city sees them.”
Austin and Dallas are the only other Texas cities that offer comprehensive trans-inclusive health benefits to employees, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).