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North Carolina Can't Deny Health Care to Trans State Workers

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Kadel v. Folwell, in which several current and former state employees and their dependents sued after the North Carolina State Health Plan, which covers state workers, denied coverage for their medically necessary gender-affirming care.

They are represented by Lambda Legal and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Folwell is Dale Folwell, the state treasurer.The state had tried to claim it was protected from lawsuits due to sovereign immunity, “the legal doctrine that precludes bringing a lawsuit against the state without its consent,” as Lambda Legal explains.

But the U.S. District Court and a federal appeals court had rejected that argument, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review it, therefore allowing the suit to proceed.

Judge Biggs’s decision comes just five months after the Supreme Court let the case go forward.“I am thrilled beyond measure for this powerful victory not only for myself but other transgender employees across the state,” Julia McKeown, an assistant professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, said in a Lambda Legal press release. “This decision sends a message of validation to the entire transgender community in North Carolina.

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