As of August 15, Bowdoin health insurance now covers gender confirmation surgery and services, which cost up to $25,000. The College also provides coverage for hormones for transgender students.

Bowdoin’s health insurance policies are regularly updated by a student health insurance benefits committee. 

“It was this group’s unanimous decision that Bowdoin should join other peer colleges and universities in providing this coverage,” said Student Health Insurance Coordinator Cathy Hayes in an email to the Orient.

It has become more common for colleges and universities to offer services for transgender students. 

Within the NESCAC, Amherst, Connecticut College, Trinity and Tufts cover hormones and gender confirmation surgeries as part of their student health insurance packages.

According to Hayes, students had expressed a desire for insurance for transgender students to the Dean’s Office, Counseling Services and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. This student interest combined with the precedents established at other NESCAC schools made it apparent that there needed to be a change in the health insurance policy regarding transgender student needs.

Director of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity Kate Stern sees many benefits of this policy change, even for students who will never take advantage of it.  

“It’s a really wonderful supportive option that the College is including in our health insurance, but it’s by no means something that all trans students will take advantage of,” Stern said.  “Even for trans students that won’t take advantage of it, it’s quite the show of support that they have that choice.”

Stern believes transgender students are not the only ones who benefit from this change. 
“One thing I’ve learned about our queer community is that they are quite the trans allies and advocates,” Stern said.  “When the College does things that support our trans students, it means a lot to our queer students in pretty powerful ways.”