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Harvard plans to cover gender reassignment surgery

Harvard plans to add coverage of gender reassignment surgery for the transgendered under their student health plan. The school’s plan already covers some kinds of reassignment surgery (i.e. breast construction or mastectomies), but now will include lower surgery, reports the Harvard Crimson:

Lower surgery, also known as bottom surgery, alters an individual’s genitals to match his or her transitioning gender identity.

“I know Harvard students who have made the decision to take steps to have surgeries to reassign their gender,” said QSA Co-Chair Samuel J. Bakkila ’11-’12. “I know it’s always a difficult decision for anyone to make, and I think that it’s great that the University is now supporting steps to have [individuals’] outward gender reflect their inward gender.”

Last year, Harvard modified its health care plan to include coverage of top surgery, which includes breast construction and mastectomies, for “individuals struggling with serious gender identity issues,” according to a statement issued by University Health Services. This change took effect on Aug. 1, 2010.

The University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University also cover the surgery in their student programs.

[Harvard Crimson]

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