By Corinne Murdock |
New year, new policy: the University of Arizona (UArizona) began paying for gender reassignment surgeries for both employees and their children on Jan. 1.
UArizona will cover up to $10,000 for these procedures through a newly established Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA): an employer-funded, tax-free health benefit that reimburses employees. Both employees and their dependents are eligible for the HRA.
The HRA would also cover fertility treatments, but only up to $2,500.
UArizona announced the reimbursement plan in the week after Thanksgiving. The HRA administrator is Navia Benefit Solutions, and offered through enrollment in the Arizona Department of Administration’s High-Deductible Health Plan or Triple Choice Plan.
The university has supported transgenderism openly over the past few decades. In 2013, UArizona lifted up a transgender former professor, Susan Stryker, who established their Transgender Studies Initiative.
Stryker retired, but is a visiting professor for Yale University, distinguished chair for Mills College, and co-editor for a Duke University Press book series on gender. Buzzfeed named Stryker as one of 24 individuals who radically reformed public perception of transgenderism.
UArizona also offers a “Gender Affirming Treatment” through their student health insurance plan, a benefit which is also available at Arizona State University (ASU) and Northern Arizona University (NAU). UArizona offers insurance through UnitedHealthcare.
The university also issues room assignments based on students’ preferred room gender through “open housing rooms” within “Gender Inclusive Housing” groups on certain floors or in certain dorms. Preferred names and pronouns are permitted to be changed for class rosters, emails, and other non-legal uses.
The university allows individuals to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity, as well as offering restrooms that allow both genders.
UArizona received over $327.6 million from the state general fund in the last fiscal year. Current tuition rates are set at over $13,200 for residents, and over $39,500 for non-residents.
The university has a 50 percent four-year and 68 percent six-year graduation rate.