Package of transgender health coverage laws considered by New Jersey lawmakers

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a package of bills that would ensure health coverage for people who are transgender.

People who are in support of the legislation testified Monday at an Assembly committee hearing.

Pastor Christopher Bruesehoff and his wife Jamie testified on behalf of their 10-year-old daughter who transitioned from a boy to a girl two years ago. They say the transition completely changed their child.

"She went from a really depressed and struggling boy to a really happy, thriving girl," says Jamie Bruesehoff.

The Bruesehoffs say that for now, they are focusing on their daughter's pronoun and her name. But they say that she will need medical help, like hormone therapy, when she gets older.

"We know that in the future there will be health care that we need, and so we have our eyes on the insurance coverage in the nondiscrimination clauses," Jamie Bruesehoff says.

If approved, the bills would mandate that neither private insurers nor Medicaid prohibit coverage based on transgender identity. Another bill would establish a task force to study transgender issues like widespread LGBT youth homelessness.

The measures were approved by the Assembly Human Services Committee, and will go to the New Jersey Assembly and Senate for a vote.

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