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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Eagle

SG seeks expanded transgender coverage under student health insurance plan

The Student Government Undergraduate Senate unanimously voted to support transgender students as the University re-negotiates its health insurance plan with GM-Southwest, AU’s student health insurance provider.

Class of 2013 Sen. Sarah McBride introduced the bill for a vote on March 3. The main purpose of the bill was to urge the University to cover medicine that would help a student transition to his or her preferred gender identity, such as surgery, which is currently excluded from the University’s health care plan, she said.

AU’s current student coverage shows a level of discrimination against transgender students that is present in many current insurance plans, McBride said. For example, the plan excludes surgery on the basis that it is an elective and cosmetic procedure, she said.

“It suggests that being trans is a choice and therefore surgery is an elective thing,” McBride said.

As a transgender student, McBride has a personal connection to the legislation.

“I would have chosen to go into the [AU] student health insurance pool this year had they included the transitional care,” McBride said.

Class of 2015 Sen. Patrick Kelly co-sponsored the bill and commended the push for LGBT advocacy.

“It’s also within the principles of AU,” Kelly said. “We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school.”

cjohnson@theeagleonline.com


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