JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Joining a group of several cities across the country, Jersey City will now cover transgender health care under the city’s health care plans.

“We think it’s an important step. We’ll be the first in the state to do it for our 3,500 employees,” Mayor Steven Fulop told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.

Fulop said the coverage will include gender reassignment surgery and some basic cosmetic surgery, modeled after San Francisco’s coverage.

“We think this should be policy that’s covered statewide. We view this as important health care coverage crucial to one’s health, like many other issues that are covered, and we think this is an important step,” the mayor said.

The coverage could cost the city up to several hundred thousand dollars per year, but Fulop said it’s about more than just money.

“Outside of the cost, which can be significant, it’s really more important also about making a statement about the importance of this sort of health care coverage,” the mayor said.

Fulop said he thinks the coverage should go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.