While states are passing laws restricting bathroom use for transgender people, Governor Gina Raimondo wants to continue pushing Rhode Island in the opposite direction, now by allowing health coverage for transitional services for state workers and their dependents 18 years and older.
Over 13,000 state workers are qualified for the coverage under their employee heath plan which will go into effect July 1. While the state is unsure how many transgender employees will take advantage of the coverage, Raimondo says it’s a way for Rhode Island to continue leading the country in transgender equality.
“There is no place for discrimination in Rhode Island, period, on any basis, race, gender, sexual identity.” Raimondo said while speaking at a transgender rights event. “That is not who we are and I’m so proud Rhode Island is a leader in not allowing discrimination.”
Gender reassignment surgery, hormones and prescriptions will all be covered with minimal increase to the individual’s health plan.
LGBT activist Gwendolyn Howard and Thundermist Trans Health Program Manager Jaye Watts told their experiences while dealing with transgender discrimination in their personal and professional lives and thanked Governor Raimondo and her leadership to continue making Rhode Island a safe place for the LGBT community.