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Seattle adds transgender health care to city’s employee benefits

Seattle adds transgender health care to city’s employee benefits

SEATTLE — The Seattle Office for Civil Rights has announced that for the first time, healthcare benefits offered to city workers will cover procedures for transgender employees, reports the Seattle Gay News.

The change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012 to coincide with open enrollment, and according to a statement, “transgender health care procedures will be included in all plans.”

Seattle now joins San Francisco in offering Transgender healthcare benefits. San Francisco began offering these benefits to their employees, retirees, and their dependents in 2001.

The surprise announcement capped six months of negotiations between several City commissions, the Mayor, the City Council, and a coalition of city unions. It was timed to coincide with the annual open enrollment period in which City employees choose their healthcare plans.

“People are skeptical of government,” LGBT Commission Co-Chair Tiffany Nelson told the Seattle Gay News. “But they did the right thing – and in a timely way!”

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