Gender Affirming Care Services

Gender Affirming Care

Columbia University provides enhanced gender-affirming benefits to you and your family through UnitedHealthcare (UHC). Whether you’re just starting to explore your options or are planning a procedure, this information may help you better understand how to maximize your benefits when getting care.


Surgical-affirmation services are covered for employees and their eligible dependents who are enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare health plan and:

  • Are at least 18 years old*
  • Have persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria
  • Have the ability to make a fully informed decision and consent to treatment
  • Have favorable psychosocial-behavioral evaluation(s) from qualified mental health professionals (1 for top surgery; 2 for bottom surgery)
  • Have lived in their identified gender for 12 months
  • Have completed 12 months of continuous, gender-affirming hormone therapy appropriate for their gender identity (unless not medically able to do so)

* For dependents under age 18, treatment of children and adolescents includes therapy and other mental health-related services and puberty suppression-related prescription medications.

Full benefits plan details are available in the Summary Plan Description (SPD).

Covered services include:

  • Behavioral health services
  • Fertility services
  • Hair-related services such as electrolysis and prescription medications
  • Hormone therapy and side effects of hormone therapy
  • Post-surgical follow-up
  • Surgery
    • Facial procedures
    • Chest procedures
    • Genital procedures
  • Voice modification training and therapy

United Healthcare (UHC) Advocate team is committed to helping you find quality, gender-affirming care.  

To reach a UHC Advocate call 1-800-232-9357. Advocates can help you:

  • Get answers to your questions
  • Find network providers, including behavioral health providers, with expertise in gender-affirming care
  • Understand claims, referrals and the precertification process
  • Get prescriptions
  • Locate community resources

For additional information on gender-affirming benefits, please contact Kamila Pavezzi, Columbia University Well-being Specialist, by email [email protected].edu or phone 212-853-8102.