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Transgender university employees sue over insurance cuts

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ACLU of Wisconsin

MADISON — Two transgender University of Wisconsin employees are suing the state’s insurance board and UW System after it stopped covering sex reassignment procedures.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Wisconsin on Friday filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of anthropology graduate student Alina Boyden and cancer researcher Shannon Andrews.

The plaintiffs, who both identify as female, argue that their health insurance plans unfairly deprive them of care for gender dysphoria, the feeling that a person is trapped in the body of the wrong sex.

The insurance board last summer added the benefits, which a consultant estimated could account for between $100,000 and $150,000 of $1.5 billion in annual spending. But board members voted in December to drop them after Republican Gov. Scott Walker asked them to reconsider.

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