Maryland is now the third state in the country to cover transition-related healthcare for transgender state employees, retirees and their dependents.
The historic change is a result of gender discrimination claims filed on behalf of Sailor Holobaugh, a transgender man and state employee.
The non-profit FreeState Legal Project represented Holobaugh in filing an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against the state and a second complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
Last year, Holobaugh was denied insurance coverage for a gender reassignment related medical procedure.
In settling the claims earlier this month, the state agreed to reimburse Holobaugh for the procedure and remove language from its healthcare plans that exclude medically necessary gender-reassignment procedures and treatments from coverage.
"It's part of a broader narrative of, I think, transgender rights coming to the forefront, especially in Maryland, with the passage of the Fairness for all Marylanders Act," said Jer Welter, FreeState Legal managing attorney. "So what we are hoping is that this will sort of set the standard and the guidepost for the state of Maryland moving forward."
The change went into effect starting the first of this month. It's one of several developments for transgender rights this year.
In May, Governor Martin O'Malley signed the Fairness for all Marylanders Act, which bans discrimination against transgender Marylanders.
Monday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order giving employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and any agency with government contracts.