The story of Donnie Collins, the Emerson student whose frat brothers helped him raise money for his “top surgery”, has become a lesson in the difficulties of navigating the health insurance landscape. Dana Liebelson provides the latest:
[On] Wednesday, a spokesperson for the university told Mother Jones that, in fact, Collins’ surgery was covered by his student health insurance all along, and the rejection was a mistake by the insurance company. “Emerson College is pleased to have confirmation that its policy with Aetna will cover Donnie Collins’ surgery,” Carole McFall, a spokesperson for Emerson, told Mother Jones. “After the rejection of his initial request, the college contacted Aetna for clarification—knowing that transgender benefits have been part of its insurance policy with Aetna since 2006. The conversations that followed led to the discovery that the policy language had inadvertently not been updated by Aetna on their internal documents. This inaccuracy led to the rejection of coverage.”
The excess money raised by the fraternity’s campaign will instead be donated to the Jim Collins Foundation, which “provide[s] financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries.” Donnie explains the rest above. Reader comments on the issue of coverage for trans surgery here.