A transgender public employee sued the state of Oregon on Tuesday for its health policy’s discrimination against gender identity.
Alec Esquivel, who was born female, is a 41 year old law clerk at the Oregon Court of Appeals. He is suing the state and its Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB) for $250,000 in damages after he was denied coverage for a preventative hysterectomy surgery.
Providence Health Plans, Portland, Ore, a third party administrator for the state and PEBB denied coverage in July 2010 stating, “services related to a sex-change operation, including evaluation, surgery and follow-up services are not a covered benefit of your plan.”
Esuivel’s lawyer, Dru Levasseur, a transgender rights attorney at Lambda Legal said, “Alec Esquivel was denied coverage for a medically necessary procedure specifically because he is transgender. This type of discrimination is unlawful and risks the health of hardworking, productive citizens of Oregon.”