Gender Confirmation Surgery Now Available For Employees And Students

The Office of Human Resources recently announced that gender confirmation surgery is now covered under faculty and staff health plans. Even more exciting, similar coverage has been made available for students themselves through Aetna Student Health. This coverage offers a plan that can be purchased by undergraduate students who are taking at least three credits, or graduate students taking at least one credit.

Natasha Cox, a programming coordinator in the Penn State LGBTQA Student Resource Center, said she believes this health insurance coverage is certainly becoming more widespread. According to Cox, people are beginning to understand that this surgery is a result of gender dysphoria rather than simply a “cosmetic issue.”

“Because these procedures now are not seen as cosmetic or just choices, national insurance companies are covering it, and many institutions have shifted, such as university policies,” Cox said.

Penn State has long been an accepting community for all students, embracing the individuality of all people, regardless of how they identify themselves. In fact, the LGBTQA Student Resource Center is an organization dedicating themselves entirely to this idea.

This surgery coverage is a huge step in the right direction for creating an even more open and comfortable community here on campus.

Sonya Wilmoth, assistant director of the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, said the coverage can be appealing to incoming staff and faculty. This advancement in the health plans may also help retain existing staff and faculty.

Altogether, the new coverage will help show that Penn State can accommodate the needs of all existing and future staff, faculty, and students, and has health care options for those suffering from gender dysphoria. It is essential to understand the discomforts and possible struggles anyone suffering from gender dysphoria, especially here on campus, may be experiencing.

“For anyone who looks in the mirror and sees something that’s not them, it can be traumatic and triggering,” Cox said. “Having the body that you’re supposed to have and seeing yourself in the way you want to be is really important.”

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Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with. (Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])

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