AU to Cover Transition Surgery Costs
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 01:09
Student insurance at American University will now cover full transitional care for transgender students, including gender reassignment surgery, making AU the only Washington, D.C. university to cover such costs.
The new AU policy will cover 80 percent of the cost for gender reassignment at in-network providers and 60 percent at out-of-network providers, with a maximum of $500,000.
At Georgetown, it is not likely that these procedures will be added to university healthcare.
“We review our student health insurance on a regular basis, with a focus on meeting student needs, respecting our Catholic and Jesuit identity and adhering to local and national law,” university spokesperson Stacy Kerr wrote in an email.
Due to the small size of Georgetown’s transgender community, GU Pride President Thomas Lloyd (SFS ’15) said that it would be difficult to push for coverage expansion.
“I think that the recent hype over contraceptive care could be instructive — under directives from the federal government, Georgetown might change its policy — but Georgetown still has a ways to go on transgender issues,” Lloyd said. “The out transgender community is fairly small, so there isn’t a huge population calling for a change in policy. From a large student push, a change might be possible. … Helping someone be happier and healthier in their body needn’t conflict with the Jesuit mission at all.”
Lloyd added that the recent addition of a gender non-conforming representative seat to the GU Pride board was a step in the right direction, especially considering that an openly transgender student has never graduated from the university before. Lloyd said many students come out following graduation but keep silent during their studies at Georgetown.
Personally, Lloyd said he believed that the university should cover gender reassignment costs for transgender students.
“Personally, I say absolutely. This … is an established right in some countries,” Lloyd said. “For some people who identify as transgender, the ability to transition is essential to their mental health and identity. They don’t feel at home in their person, so the ability for them to transition successfully and being supported is key to their health as an individual.”