Alex Blaze

University of Pennsylvania will cover gender confirmation

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 15, 2010 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: insurance, money, trangender, university pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania's insurer will start to cover GRS related costs:

In the next academic year, the Penn Student Insurance Plan will begin offering a new benefit for transgender students -- it will cover the cost of the gender confirmation process, also known as gender reassignment or transition.

The benefit covers triadic treatment, the term used for the three-step process of gender confirmation. Triadic treatment consists of psychotherapy, estrogen or testosterone hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgery, which involves the changing of genitals.

The benefit covers the costs of surgery for up to $50,000. According to a research report by the organization Transgender At Work, the cost of male-to-female surgery can average around $20,000.

That's a lot of money for one person to bear alone. Good thing insurance is all about spreading the costs for medical around to many people so it's not such a big deal:

The cost of the premium will likely only increase by a matter of cents, which is "very little for something so important for people who are transgender," College junior and Lambda Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Jason Goodman said.

That's what people are fighting over? A few cents a year? Every American pays $800 a year for nothing other than to pad the pharmaceutical industry's profit margins, and Congress won't be doing anything about that any time soon, but a few cents a year gets people upset?

If people are really concerned about the money, their concern is misdirected. It almost seems like their concern is about something else entirely.

h/t Kathy Padilla


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Wow, that's awesome.
The grad student insurance plan at VA Tech is so crappy that it didn't even cover my breast biopsy.

Guess I should have gone to U Penn?

I am so happy they are doing this for students. I work at the University of Pennsylvania and actually went in front of the University Council a few weeks ago to lobby for the staff version of this coverage. It was very well received! I am optimistic that one day soon I will be able to get a lot of the procedures and surgeries I need covered by our insurance.

Fingers crossed!

This is totally awesome, and I hope just one of many, many situations where such is available.

Thank you U Penn. You just gained a fan.

More importantly, though, thank you doctors in the area who will be taking this insurance, since right now even if one can get insurance coverage for such, most of the doctors who perform such do not take insurance payments and require the full amount up front.

(and yes, for those unaware, that means that if you wanted to see the Surgeon working a few miles from me, that means you need to cough up just short of 30,000 dollars up front, and then hope that you get reimbursed for it later via your insurance).

Kathy Padilla | April 15, 2010 4:05 PM

Go, Fighting Quakers!!!!!!

Sorry - the phrase just cracks me up.

I've been trying to get the City of Phila to remove the exclusion on trans related health care for years - gotta hand it to this students. Thanks!

The funny thing is - it ends up costing less money (or being a wash) to provide this care than not provide it. I know many trans women who don't get mammograms because if they do they can't get PSA tests. They need both - but the get neither because if they take the PSA all care associated with women (Like HRT) is refused. If they get the mammo - no PSA etc.

So - even folks who have insurance don't get the care they need as it might preclude other future care they might need. And end up in the ER when things fall apart.

The same for the guys with different procedures.

Just so stupid.

hmmmm...this means that you could go to school at one of the best colleges in the world essentially for free, if you transition while attending there...

sounds like another great reason to go there to me!

(too bad I am way too old to go to college, and have already spent most of my $100,000 that transitioning through SRS, FFS, hair removal, and all those things cost! at least my insurance did cover therapy, the endocrinologist, and hormones...)