The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) Wednesday filed suit against Georgia for the state’s denial of gender-affirming care in the state’s health benefit plan. The state health benefit plan is the healthcare insurance offered by Georgia to its state and public employees. The complaint was filed on behalf of Micha Rich and Benjamin Johnson–two transgender public employees–and Jane Doe–a state employee whose transgender son is enrolled through her insurance plan.
Micha Rich, an accountant for the state, and Benjamin Johnson, a school media clerk, were diagnosed with gender dysphoria, which which is treated through gender transitioning. In a statement released by TLDEF, both men discuss the impact receiving the necessary care had on their lives, improving their emotional and mental wellbeing.
TLDEF’s legal director David Brown said that courts continue to find denying trans people healthcare to be illegal. As a result, Brown is confident that the outcome will be favorable.
Earlier this year, TLDEF was victorious in their suit against Houston County. In that case, the court found that employers cannot exclude gender affirming medical treatment from health insurance plans for employees. Georgia was sued in June over the denial of transition-related care in Medicaid insurance plans, which also resulted in an end to the exclusion.