Baltimore board approves covering gender-confirming surgery for city employees

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore City Board of Estimates has approved a request to provide gender-confirming surgery for city employees.

City officials said extending the benefit reaffirms the city's commitment to equal employment opportunity for all employees as the city aims to create diverse and inclusive workplace

"This is a victory for trans people and gender non-conforming people, a sign that everybody in the city matters," said Merrick Moses, president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore board. "Because I am a transgender man, this has caused me great distress. I am glad for the opportunity to get what I need and be whole and well."

The Board of Estimates voted Wednesday to approve the request to provide gender-confirming surgery to Baltimore City employees through the city's self-insured health plans.

The vote comes after Moses, a victim's advocate in the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, went to the city after finding out his gender-reassignment surgery would cost $90,000 and none of it would be covered by his employer, Baltimore City.

"It will allow me to reschedule my surgery date, get my pre-ops together and get the surgery that's medically necessary for me," Moses said.

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