Transgenders Demand Insurers Pay For Special Underwear 

Student government calls for free ‘chest binders’ for female students seeking to conceal their breasts |

Jan 14, 2020 |

The Undergraduate Assembly plans to launch a new initiative pushing [the University of Pennsylvania’s] health insurance provider to cover the cost of chest binders for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students by fall 2020.

College junior and UA Representative Cam Duran said the UA plans to petition insurance coverage for chest binders when the Student Health Insurance Advisory Board, which Duran sat on last year, reconvenes in the spring to determine exactly what the Penn Student Insurance Plan can cover for the 2020-21 academic year.

Chest binders are compression undergarments worn to flatten breasts in order to create a more masculine appearance, according to The New York Times.

The Times added that they are not considered medical devices and can be purchased online and in stores.

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Duran said the initiative was inspired by a program offered at Cornell University in which students enrolled in a Cornell student health plan or who pay the Student Health Fee can receive up to two chest binders each semester with no copayment.

Topless Advocates Push Their Cause In Courts Image, Vox Efx, CC BY 2.0.

Duran said that Penn should be able to provide chest binders without placing a financial burden on students to help improve transgender students’ mental health and gender affirmation.

Duran said Penn’s insurance provider, Aetna Student Health, covers gender affirming services such as surgical and hormone replacement therapy and counseling treatment but does not cover chest binders.

Similar to Aetna, Student Health Services does not provide chest binders.

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Students can satisfy the health insurance requirement through either a private plan that fulfills University criteria or enrollment in the PSIP offered through Aetna … Read more. 


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