ACLU files complaint against UW med school, state of Wisconsin over researcher's gender reassignment surgery

A transgender researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wis., filed complaint against the medical school, state of Wisconsin and WPS Insurance for denying her coverage for gender reassignment surgery, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of Shannon Andrews. The complaint seeks $21,000 in reimbursement for Ms. Andrew's Oct. 2015 gender reassignment surgery.

The complaint is targeted against the Group Insurance Board oversees the health benefits for state workers. It also names the UW medical school and Monona, Wis.-based WPS Insurance, one of the companies that provides insurance to state workers.

On July 2016, the Group Insurance Board approved the ending of benefits and services related to gender reassignment or sexual transformation. The change takes effect Jan. 2017.

The board said the changes were approved because they do not contradict the portion of the Affordable Care Act relating to discrimination, according to the Journal report.

However, the ACLU released a statement that said excluding coverage for sexual transformation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth amendment, according to the report.

Ms. Andrews said she submitted the bills for her surgery to WPS officials in February and was denied. She turned to the ACLU after her appeal was also denied.

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