HRC Blog

Twelve Colleges Now Offer Trans-Inclusive Health Insurance

Like the nation's top private companies, colleges and universities are removing discriminatory transgender exclusions from their health insurance plans in order to provide more inclusive insurance for students and staff. On many campuses today, much of the activism is centered on transgender and genderqueer issues, such as adding gender identity to the school’s non-discrimination policy and implementing gender-neutral housing and locker room facilities. A newer area of focus is ensuring that health insurance policies provide transgender-inclusive coverage. Even the American Medical Association recognizes the need for transgender benefits and passed a resolution supporting health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity issues. At the University of Pennsylvania, former HRC intern Dennie Zastrow and others worked with the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee to convince the Office of Provost to provide transgender-inclusive insurance starting in the next academic year for students. UPenn is considering the same change for staff and faculty health plans. Stanford University's Associated Students of Stanford University helped the successful push for transgender-inclusive insurance for students starting in the next academic year. And just to further reinforce the fact that these benefits are inexpensive, premiums for the health plan are decreasing by 4 percent! You can find the full list of the 12 colleges and universities with inclusive plans for students and employees here. Also worth noting is that Harvard University has taken important steps in the right direction by including coverage of limited sex reassignment treatments for staff and -- starting August 1 -- for students. The plans only cover top surgeries and still deny coverage for medically necessary bottom surgeries – falling short of limited inclusive plans recently implemented by other universities and employers. If you want to work toward transgender-inclusive health benefits at your school or workplace, HRC offers a comprehensive resource for evaluating health policies and what steps to take.

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