Transgender operations to be covered in faculty health plan
Published: Friday, December 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 01:12
The university’s faculty health insurance plan will this January offer new benefits to transgender faculty, including coverage for gender reassignment surgery.
The expanded faculty coverage comes after a push from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, according to Director of the Benefits and Human Resources Service Center Ann Mackenzie.
“Over the past year or so, the Human Resources Benefits Office had been contacted by faculty and staff from the LGBT community to discuss the topic of implementing transgender services and surgical coverage as part of the university health plans ... coverage,” Mackenzie told the Daily in an email.
The university’s student health insurance plan began offering similar benefits in September, according to Senior Director of Health and Wellness Service Michelle Bowdler. Student insurance plans now cover hormone therapy, counseling and gender reassignment surgery.
Tufts may be one of the first schools to offer such benefits to faculty, Mackenzie said.
“We were pleased when the policy development was finished earlier this year and as such, transgender services surgical coverage will be offered through the university health plans,” she said.
Mackenzie explained that, prior to the policy change, health plans offered selected services, like hormone therapy, but excluded coverage for surgery for faculty. She believes that many employees will take advantage of the new benefits.
The expanded coverage represents Tufts’ continued support of the LGBT community, according to Mackenzie.
“Tufts University has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion,” she said.
Employees should contact their health plans directly for specific coverage information, Mackenzie said, adding that she is grateful to the university insurers for helping administrators change the policy.
“We thank the health plans for their partnership and collaboration on this important issue,” she said.