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Springfield woman files lawsuit against city for anti-trans discrimination

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SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield transgender woman who had worked for the city is suing, alleging that the city’s health insurance denied coverage related to transition care.

In an announcement, the ACLU of Illinois stated that the charge recounts how Kate Holt was denied coverage for medication prescribed by her physician but was covered for other employees who are not transgender. She was employed by the City of Springfield beginning in February 2020. The ACLU said that the denial is a clear violation of Illinois’ Human Rights Act, according to the charge. 

“My prescriptions were excluded from insurance,” said Holt. “They were excluded not because they were exotic or unreasonably expensive. My medications are common and covered for other medical conditions. I had already taken them under a physician’s care for more than two years without any problem. And the medications are covered for transgender people by other insurance plans, including our statewide Medicaid system.” 

At the time of her employment with the city in Feb. 2020, Holt sought coverage for medication prescribed by her physician for treatment of gender dysphoria. Holt learned that the city’s healthcare plan (administered by Trustmark Health Benefits) specifically denied coverage for “sex transformation and hormones related to such treatment.” She appealed the decision but was refused.

“The capital city needs to respect and follow the law of Illinois,” said Josh Blecher-Cohen, a legal fellow with the ACLU of Illinois. “Our client repeatedly raised this issue with those responsible for managing the employee insurance plan at the city of Springfield. She was repeatedly rebuffed.”

The complaint was filed last week.

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