trustees ok sex-change surgery for uic student health plan

Project Description:

*write a one page executive brief on ethical issues about the article below. see attached fromat.

by jodi s. cohen, chicago tribune reporter
may 30, 2013

university of illinois trustees wednesday approved a student health insurance plan for the chicago campus that for the first time covers gender retask surgery, a move that about three dozen other colleges have made in recent years.

the insurance cost for uic students will increase about 15 percent this fall, to $922 a year, $9 of which is attributed to adding the surgery option for transgender students. the procedure, commonly known as a "sex change," transforms a person's physical appearance and sexual characteristics to that of the other sex.

trustees debated the insurance change for about 15 minutes at a board meeting on the uic campus and then voted 6-2 to add the benefit. trustees edward mcmillan and dr. timothy koritz, both republicans, voted against it. two board members were absent.

koritz, an anesthesiologist, said he was concerned that state and federal financial aid could end up paying for a health benefit that taxpayers may not support and that he would not participate in as a physician.

"it is our responsibility to be (financially) responsible with taxpayers' dollars, and i think a lot of taxpayers may feel that is not an appropriate use of their money," koritz said. "i would be too uncomfortable to do anesthesia for that procedure.

"i don't feel that ethically, morally … that i could support the possibility of that happening at the university."

trustee patrick fitzgerald, a former u.s. attorney, who voted for the measure, said he would "give deference to the student body," whose representatives brought the issue to the board of trustees.

"i would be uncomfortable if we got into a situation where we looked at every … procedure and tried to decide how comfortable taxpayers would feel," said fitzgerald, who is considered a political independent.

the insurance plan is funded by student fees, and most medical care is provided at the university of illinois hospital and health science system. gender retask operations are not performed at the university hospital, however, and will be considered an out-of-network benefit. as such, students will be responsible for 30 percent of the cost.

the lifetime benefit for services related to gender retask surgery is about $117,000 including prescriptions and all medical care.

more than 11,500 of the campus' 27,000 students participated in the health insurance program, called campuscare, last academic year. it's feasible that student health fees could be covered by state aid or other financial assistance that go toward tuition and fees.

uic employees are part of the state's health insurance plan, which does not include coverage for gender retask surgery.

a uic graduate student proposed adding the surgery to the student health plan, and the uic student fee advisory committee supported it and brought the issue to the board of trustees.

the flagship campus in urbana-champaign and its smaller campus in springfield do not cover the procedure. the university's three campuses have varying fees and make health insurance decisions separately, though all require approval by the trustees.

about three dozen other universities have added the benefit in recent years, according to uic. northwestern university added it about a year ago, and also included hormone therapy and mental health intervention if needed, said northwestern spokesman alan cubbage. the university of chicago's student health plan does not cover the procedure, but officials are exploring adding it, said spokesman jeremy manier.

uic officials said, on average, they expect that fewer than one student per year will use the benefit. aetna insurance, the vendor for at least 19 universities that cover the surgery, told uic that there were seven surgeries at those schools last year, according to michael ginsburg, uic's associate vice chancellor for student affairs.

uic students are automatically assessed the student health insurance fee but can opt out if they show evidence of other insurance coverage — through a parent or job, for example.

the insurance increase approved wednesday is the first since 2008.
Skills Required:
Project Stats:

Price Type: Negotiable

Total Proposals: 4
1 Current viewersl
29 Total views
Project posted by:


Proposals Reputation Price offered
  • 4.6
    648 Jobs 468 Reviews
    $0 in 0 Day
  • 1.9
    14 Jobs 8 Reviews
    $25 in 0 Day
  • 4.8
    405 Jobs 248 Reviews
    $0 in 0 Day
  • 1.0
    1 Jobs 1 Reviews
    $0 in 0 Day