Pittsburgh adds gender affirmation surgery to benefits package

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Pittsburgh is now offering gender affirmation surgery to city employees and their dependents.

The benefit, announced Oct. 19 by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, will apply to those enrolled in the city’s medical insurance plan. It’s the latest addition to the City of Pittsburgh’s robust employee benefits package, which includes mental health and hormonal therapy benefits for LGBT employees.

Pittsburgh joins Berkeley, Calif.; Jersey City, N.J.; and Chicago to offer gender affirmation surgeries to transgender employees.

The city added that it expects the financial impact of including gender affirmation surgery in its medical coverage to “be minimal because the city has so few transgender employees,” according to the Tribune-Review. The Mayor’s Office told the Tribune-Review it will spend $65 million this year on all healthcare benefits for about 3,300 employees and dependents.

See also: Employers expanding LGBT benefits

The Human Rights Campaign — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization — lauded the city’s expansion of LGBTQ employee benefits, which was announced in tandem with this year’s HRC’s rankings of inclusion by municipal governments.

Pittsburgh scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard, which ranks how a city performs with non-discrimination laws, municipal services and its relationship with the LGBTQ community. The national average is 57.

“We are very, very proud of this 100% rating from the HRC, which we've been working hard to reach through all four years I've been in office,” says Mayor Peduto. “We owe a lot of thanks to Councilmen Bruce Kraus and Dan Gilman for their legislation banning conversion therapy in the city, which was approved unanimously by City Council last year and helped our score.”

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Healthcare costs Healthcare plans Healthcare industry Benefit management Benefit communication LGBTQ