University of Colorado to cover transition surgeries for transgender employees

The University of Colorado in Boulder.

The University of Colorado in Boulder.

BOULDER, Colo. — The University of Colorado expects to soon begin covering the cost of transition surgery for transgender faculty and staff.

The University of Colorado in Boulder.

The University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Daily Camera reported Friday that when new insurance plans take effect with the start of the fiscal year on July 1, a new benefit will likely be coverage of gender confirmation surgeries for those whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

“We want to make sure that our benefit offerings in general are competitive and that they’re comparable to what other universities are offering their staff as well as making sure that it mirrors or is very similar to what our students also receive,” Kathy Nesbitt, CU’s vice president for employee and information services, told the Camera.

CU-Boulder students in the university’s health insurance plan already receive coverage for such surgery up to $10,000.

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The projected cost of providing the benefit for faculty and staff in the first year is $247,000, or a quarter of 1 percent of total claims. That is expected to drop to around $100,000 in the second year, Nesbitt said.

Faculty, staff and students already have health insurance coverage for hormone replacement therapy, so coverage for gender confirmation procedures was the last health care equality “hurdle” at CU, Scarlet Bowen, who directs the GLBTQ Resource Center on the Boulder campus, told the Camera.

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