More American Universities Including SRS Coverage in Health Insurance Plans

Brown University

Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University

Starting in August 2013, Brown University, a U.S. university located in Providence, Rhode Island, will start offering its students an extended health plan that will cover 14 different sexual reassignment surgery procedures.

The policy change is in line with the university’s commitment “to support all students”, said Jeanne Hebert, Brown’s Director of Insurance and Purchasing Services.

Surgeries to be covered will include:

Female to Male Surgery

  • top surgery
  • hysterectomy, including salpingo-oophorectomy
  • vaginectomy
  • metoidioplasty
  • scrotoplasty and testicular implants
  • urethroplasty
  • phalloplasty
Male to Female Surgery

  • orchiectomy
  • penectomy
  • vaginoplasty
  • clitoroplasty
  • labiaplasty

Brown will become the 36th American college offering insurance coverage for SRS. Other academic institutions on this list include Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and Emory.


Kelly Garrett, the university’s LGBTQ Center coordinator,  hailed the change and confirmed that while SRS procedures are medically necessary for transgender students, many U.S. insurance companies persistently describe them cosmetic and refuse to fund them.

The medical necessity of SRS has been reaffirmed most recently by the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and World Professional Organization for Transgender Health, as well as insurance companies such as Aetna.

If you have been denied SRS coverage by an American insurance company, you can appeal the decision. Check out these guides for more information:

Updates to Original Article

March 13, 2013: CSU will become the 37th college in the U.S. to add gender reassignment surgery to the student health insurance plan as of August 2013.

April 17, 2013: Tufts to become the 38th college or university in the country to cover hormones and surgeries for transgender students. Also, Duke OKs student health insurance coverage for sex reassignment.

April 27, 2013: Yale Health extends sex-reassignment coverage to students

May 15, 2013: Syracuse University has joined a growing list of colleges that cover the cost of transition-related services for transgender faculty and staff members under insurance policies.

May 30, 2013: Trustees at the University of Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday approved a student insurance plan that, for the first time, includes coverage for gender reassignment surgeries as of this fall.

August 8, 2013: Columbia University’s student health plan covers transition related expenses.

September 18, 2013: American University to cover gender reassignment surgery under its student health insurance policies.

March 7, 2014: U. of I. insurance plan covers gender reassignment surgery at Urbana-Champaign

March 18, 2014: MIT Student plans cover new surgery benefit; Gender affirmation surgery covered

June 9, 2016: Vanderbilt adds transgender surgeries to student insurance