Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, November 19, 2018

AU offers additional insurance coverage to transgender students

New plan includes transitional care, gender reassignment surgery

AU offers additional insurance coverage to transgender students

Transgender students at AU with the University’s insurance plan will now have full transitional care, including gender reassignment surgery, making it the only D.C. school to have such a plan.

Transitional care covers medical treatment during a transgender person’s transition.

Student Government President Patrick Kelly and former SG President Sarah McBride sponsored the legislation that SG unanimously passed in March, The Eagle previously reported.

Kelly, McBride and SG Chief of Staff Ray Bowman, former Queer and Allies executive director, worked with the administration to include transitional care in negotiations after the bill’s passage.

The policy will cover 80 percent of the cost for gender reassignment at in-network and 60 percent of the cost for out of network, Bowman said. In-network are medical providers that are contracted within one’s insurance plan, according to FAIR Health.

The insurance plan will only cover up to $500,000 for transitional care, he said.

The addition of transitional care will not have additional costs for students, Bowman said.

However, the policy is not permanent because AU negotiates the insurance plan every year, Kelly said. Bowman and Kelly plan to continue to advocate for the renewal of the plan.

“We will fight to make sure that this is a piece of the coverage that isn’t just around for one year,” Kelly said.

McBride began working on transitional care during her tenure as SG President in 2011-2012. The need for transitional care in the health insurance became a priority for McBride, who identified herself as a transgender student in May 2012.

McBride said she is appreciative of AU for adding the new coverage, although as an alumna, the insurance does not apply to her.

“I felt really proud of the institution that I was graduating from,” she said after finding out about the addition.

The administration was receptive to adding full transitional care, Kelly said.

“This is one of those policies that shows AU loves everyone for who they are,” Kelly said.

hmongilio@theeagleonline.com


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