Transgender Medical Care and the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

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Cal’s Student Health Insurance Plan (Berkeley SHIP) covers transgender-specific medical care. Check out our UHS Pride page for more resources for the LGBTQ community.


What does the plan cover?

  • Hormone therapy – this will be covered under the pharmacy benefit.
  • Gender confirmation (reassignment) surgery – In most cases this will be covered at 90% after your deductible. There are a limited number of providers in the Aetna Student Health network who perform this type of surgery and travel costs are not covered. Considering surgery? We are here to help. Review the steps to get started here (PDF). How much does surgery cost? Get cost estimates here. Unfortunately, MTF top surgery is not currently covered by most major medical insurance providers, including ours.


What is not covered by the plan?

Travel expenses, and cosmetic surgery that is performed to improve gender specific appearance such as:

  • Liposuction
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Face lifts/Facial bone reconstruction
  • Breast Augmentation (MTF top surgery)
  • Electrolysis
  • Tracheal shave


How does it work?

  • We are here to help! Review the steps to get started here (PDF).
  • For hormone therapy: Call Clinic 3 at (510)643-7110 and ask to speak with the clinic nurse.  S/he can arrange an appointment and prepare you for your visit.
  • For surgery: We strongly advise you make an appointment with the Student Health Insurance Manager at (510)642-5700 for a confidential benefits review of your transgender medical benefits. You will get a better understanding of current insurance coverage requirements and limitations and can be guided to the appropriate next step.


Where can I go for more information?

Please see our Transgender Health Services page.



Updated: July 2015

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