US: Increase in colleges providing health insurance to trans students
A growing number of America’s top universities are now extending health insurance coverage to transgender students, that’s according to campaigners.
The New York Times reports that Brown University in Rhode Island is tipped to become the 36th college in the US to cover gender confirmation surgery.
Experts say its a remarkable shift in attitudes compared to six years ago, when no colleges included gender confirmation treatment in their healthcare provision.
An additional 25 colleges cover hormone therapy but not surgery, and 20 offer similar plans for staff. They include internationally famous universities like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, M.I.T.
The universities say that it sends out a message to their whole student body that the views and needs of transgender students are just as important as everyone else.
“Students notice whether the issues that they care about, that make them feel like it’s a more comfortable and welcoming place, are being discussed and addressed,” said Doctor Ira Friedman, vice provost for student affairs at Stanford.
Campaigners hope other colleges and businesses will adopt similar policies. According to Human Rights Campaign, a quarter of Fortune 500 companies have similar coverage for trans employees.
For colleges that have not yet confronted such questions, “gender reassignment is a high bar,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride.