Maryland now covers trans-specific healthcare for state employees

In 2013, Sailor Holobaugh, an employee at the University of Maryland – Baltimore, was denied his request to be reimbursed through the state's employee health insurance and benefits program for surgery that his doctors deemed medically necessary. The Washington Blade reported that he was denied because he is trans. In response, the Free State Legal Project filed a complaint on his behalf against the state and also filed another complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights under the premise that excluding trans-related health care violates Gov. Martin O'Malley's 2007 executive order banning discriminating against transgender employees.

The State of Maryland has since agreed to reimburse Holobaugh for his procedure and will now cover "transition-related treatment that is medically necessary" under the Gender Dysphoria Benefit, which applies to employees and retirees along with their spouses and dependents. The State now joins Oregon and California as states that offer trans-specific health care for state employees and retirees.

In a Free State Legal Project press release, Holobaugh said:

My experience as a social worker and a scout has made me appreciate the importance of persevering for change and equality. I am thrilled that people who serve Maryland as state employees now have increased access to health services and that they can extend these benefits to their dependents.

Opponents to the policy failed to collect enough signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot.