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University Considers Requiring Coverage of Sex Changes in Health Plan

1:01 PM, Dec 16, 2013 • By JIM SWIFT
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According to the University of Maryland student newspaper The Diamondback, the university’s student health insurance plan is considering requiring coverage of sex change operations.

Carmichael Library

Carmichael Library

The University’s health center, which is in charge of running student health plans, has “submitted proposals to three separate companies detailing what the university would like its new plan to include” and “all include coverage of up to $100,000 for any kind of sexual reassignment procedure,” reports The Diamondback.

The current health care plan provided to students at the University of Maryland does not cover sex change and related surgeries or treatments, and some on campus view this as a form of discrimination. 

Nicholas Sakurai is the associate director of the LGBT Equity Center at the University of Maryland— a university funded intersectional social justice office. He told the Diamondback that including sex changes in the student health plan “would definitely bring us a lot [sic] to where we want to be to make sure we’re not discriminating as an institution.”

Joe Ehrenkrantz, who serves as diversity director for the student government, told The Diamondback that he feels that the current plan is "calculating discrimination into the cost of health insurance” by not including sex changes.

Interest in sex change-related operations from the University’s 37,000 students appears to be extremely small. The Diamondback reports: "The health center saw about five students for transgender care in the past two years, officials said, and one of those students used the insurance plan.”

Though to cover the small number of sex changes and related operations, the rest of the students who participate in the plan would have to pay. The Diamondback reports:

Ultimately, price will determine what transgender health care coverage is added to the student plan, said Sacared Bodison, health center director. 

“It is not a benefit many people would use, so it has to be weighed against all the other people who would pay extra money,” Bodison said. “I expect it to add to the premium. I’m just hoping it won’t add much.” 

Bodison said she expects the average coverage would increase premiums by about $15 — a little more than 1 percent of the $1,363 students pay in premiums under the school plan.

You can read the entire story here.

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