UC Berkeley Adds Laser Hair Removal to Student Health Plan for Transgender Students

Starting August 1st, the UC Berkeley student health insurance program will be adding laser hair removal as a covered item under the list of “transgender student services”.

The new service will be added to the list of already existing services that accommodate transgender students, including “gender reassignment surgery,” “breast augmentation (MTF top surgery),” “female to male top surgery,” “hormone therapy,” etc.

The cosmetic needs of transgender students at UC Berkeley are being accommodated for by the newly proposed student healthcare plan. The plan is supposed to be installed on August 1st, 2017.

Via Campus Reform:

The University of California, Berkeley will soon add “laser hair removal” and “fertility preservation” to the list of “transgender student services” covered by its student health insurance plan.

According to The Daily Californian, the two new services will be officially added on August 1, complementing existing services for transgender students that are already covered, including “gender confirmation (reassignment) surgery,” “breast augmentation (MTF top surgery),” “female to male top surgery,” “hormone therapy,” and more.

Bahar Navab, who manages the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for University Health Services, explained that fertility damage is a common side-effect of the hormones that some transgender individuals take, and that fertility preservation treatments enable those individuals to become pregnant or produce sperm without having to stop taking the hormones.

Navab also pointed out that most health insurance plans do not cover services such as “male-to-female top surgery” and hair removal because they consider them cosmetic procedures, whereas Berkeley’s plan views them as treatments for “gender dysphoria,” though they will also be offered to student with other medical necessities.

Recently elected student senator, Juniperangelica Cordova, told the Daily Cal that while she thinks the university has done “a good job” thus far with accommodating the needs of transgender students like herself, she plans to work with the Tang Center (university’s medical office) to do more.

“It’s a matter of making sure that everyone who works at Tang is up-to-date in terms of using our names and our pronouns,” she said. “I’m excited to see new procedures and new coverage being added and I’m looking forward to working with Tang this year in making sure trans folks are healthy.”

The updated healthcare plan allows transgender students to pay as little as 10% of the cost of most transgender services including “top surgery,” “bottom surgery,” and hormone therapy. Many in Berkeley’s SJW legions consider these healthcare inclusions a progressive win, all the while their tuition bills get hiked up even higher.


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