NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) — Officials at Yale University are said to be debating whether or not to offer medical coverage to students seeking gender reassignment surgeries.
According to Yale Daily News, the health plan offered by the university does not presently cover such a procedure for students. However, faculty and staff at a managerial level are reportedly covered for the surgery.
Several students, including Yale’s LGBTQ Affinity Group co-chair Andrea Wilson, have requested the change in policy, though they have also commended the school for the policies it has enacted thus far on the matter.
“There are few other university employers that provide this coverage including Columbia, UPenn, Bowdoin,” Wilson told the Daily News. “So we’re definitely leading the way in terms of coverage from university employees for this.”
Others, however, feel that the present policies, which lack gender reassignment surgery coverage, are exclusionary, and create a rift of inequality between LGBTQ students and the rest of the matriculating population at Yale.
“The [current] policy sends a message to trans and gender nonconforming students that our concerns are not a priority,” Resource Alliance for Gender Equality president Gabriel Murchison told the paper. “[N]ot to mention its effect on students who need this care and rely on the Yale Health Plan for their health coverage.”
The coverage plan offered to students reportedly covers other health needs beyond the realm of acute medical care, including gynecological services and mental health counseling.
Still, students who support the LGBTQ community hope to see the school continue the trend of equality in medical coverage set by other Ivy League institutions such as Stanford and Harvard, the Daily News learned.
Student Michelle Morgan is one of those students, who especially wants Yale cover her partner’s female-to-male reassignment procedure.
“Yale’s slowness on this issue is a problem from the perspective of history,” Morgan told the paper. “When history looks back on gender-confirming surgeries and coverage, Yale should strive to be on the cutting edge and not defensive side of that history.”