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Department of Employee Trust Funds
December 30, 2016

GIB Takes Action on Health Coverage Based on Gender Identity

The Group Insurance Board (GIB) today reinstated the exclusion of health benefits and services based on gender identity after certain contingencies are met. The contingencies include:

  • A court ruling or an administrative action that enjoins, rescinds or invalidates the rules set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
  • Compliance with state law, Section 40.03 (6)(c);
  • Renegotiation of contracts that maintain or reduce premium costs for the state; and
  • A final opinion of the Wisconsin Department of Justice that the action taken does not constitute a breach of the Board’s fiduciary duties.

Coverage for procedures, services and supplies related to gender reassignment and sexual transformation will be in place effective January 1. These benefits will be rescinded if all of the above contingencies are met.

The State of Wisconsin is a litigant in a federal lawsuit filed in Texas, which claims the HHS rules are unlawful and an improper interpretation of federal law.

In order to be in compliance with current federal rules, last July the GIB approved Uniform Benefits changes for 2017 related to nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity.

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