UIUC student insurance to cover gender reassignment surgery

Flag with rainbow stripesInsurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery will be added to the student insurance plan on the Urbana-Champaign campus after a vote from university trustees Thursday.

UIC’s CampusCare student health insurance plan added coverage for gender reassignment procedures last May.

Renee Romano, Urbana-Champaign vice chancellor for student affairs, said support was measured through a campus petition signed by 2,500 students, a town hall meeting in which “no concerns were voiced” and an Illinois Student Senate resolution supporting a transgender-friendly campus.

Adding the surgery to the insurance plan will cost Urbana students an extra $2.22 each semester.

Trustee Timothy Koritz, who also voted against the measure for UIC students, said he was concerned that students who seek gender reassignment are making a permanent decision at a young age.

He suggested that psychiatric care and hormonal treatment, already offered in the student plan, would be a “better choice for an 18-year-old.”

Trustee Edward McMillan, who also opposed the measure last May, said he now supported it reluctantly because some gender reassignment procedures are covered under Affordable Care Act mandates but the surgery is not.

He said he was “troubled” that other students were being “forced” to pay for the procedure.

“That’s just the nature of insurance,” said Trustee Pam Strobel. “It’s not appropriate in our roles of trustees to exert our moral judgments.”

“It is indeed a medical condition that needs to be addressed medically,” said trustee James Montgomery.

Urbana campus student trustee Michael Cunningham voted against the measure.

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