- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Civil rights groups are asking the Portland City Council to start providing transgender health care benefits for city employees.

A federal Department of Health and Human Services rule effective in July will forbid health insurers who receive federal financial assistance from categorically excluding treatments related to gender transition.

That letter doesn’t apply to self-insured entities like large businesses and local governments.

But at a time when businesses are increasingly voicing support for LGBT rights, many companies, like Time Warner Cable, have already announced they’ll provide such benefits.

For LGBT advocates, the new frontier is getting local governments on board.

Portland’s city council will consider such a resolution on June 20. Maine LGBT groups say more than 60 cities across the nation, including Boston, Providence and Burlington, have passed similar policies.

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