The County of Houston refuses for the moment to take out insurance covering sex reassignment surgery


A Houston-based sheriff's office sergeant, transgender, says she is being discriminated against as county officials will not change health insurance this year, which would cover sex reassignment surgeries .

Sgt. Anna Lange and her lawyer asked the commissioners Tuesday to add treatment for gender dysphoria to the insurance coverage for 2019, but this claim was denied. Gender dysphoria – the condition of identifying oneself as the opposite of biological sex – is recognized as a medical condition by organizations such as the American Medical Association.

"It was difficult," Lange said before the county commission meeting Tuesday night. "It gives you the impression that you are not valued as an employee. I work hard for Houston County. I work hard for the people of Houston County.

"What I'm asking for is medical care," Lange added. "It's not unreasonable."

Houston County operates a self-funded health insurance plan administered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Anthem offers the opportunity for employers, such as Houston County, to have cover for sex change surgery, from after the anthem documents posted on his website.

The Houston County insurance plan does not include this type of coverage, however, said county attorney Tom Hall.

Hall said the county commission would not consider adding it to his plan this year.

"I advised the Commission and staff not to discuss this case because of potential litigation," he said.

A complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be filed unless commissioners change their position, lawyer Noah Lewis told Transcend Legal, a non-profit organization based in New York that advocates for transgender clients. in health care.

"They have made no promises for next year but Anna can not wait another year for health care," said Lewis.

Lange says she spent her own money on other treatments for gender dysphoria, including hormone therapy and breast augmentation. Sexual conversion surgery should be covered by the Houston County Insurance when it is deemed medically necessary, she said.

Lange is a 12-year veteran of the Houston County Sheriff's Office.