University Health Services (UHS) is dedicated to providing high quality inclusive health care for undergraduate and graduate students and their dependents. Over the last several years, UHS has expanded services available for transgender and gender non-binary students to include initiation and continuation of gender affirming hormones and insurance coverage of surgeries and procedures for gender affirmation.
We understand that navigating insurance coverage is challenging, and we want to support you as you navigate your health options.
Learn more about:
The following UHS services are available to Princeton undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of insurance provider:
- Free, inclusive primary and sexual and reproductive health care.
- Consultation, informed consent, and medication management for gender affirming hormones.
- Information, referrals, and guidance for gender affirming surgeries and other office procedures not available at UHS.
- Pre-operative physical health assessments for gender affirming surgeries.
- Letters for traveling with medications.
- Free, confidential, supportive, and gender affirming counseling for any issue, including experiences and questions related to gender identity.
- Some medical providers, outside of UHS, request that you provide a letter from a mental health professional when accessing certain gender-affirming medical care. CPS can work with you to provide such letters.
- On-site laboratory for blood and urine tests. There may be a charge associated with these tests.
Process for obtaining gender affirming hormone therapy (feminizing or masculinizing hormones)
Gender affirming hormones are essential primary care for many transgender and gender non-binary individuals. UHS utilizes an informed consent model1 to initiate and/or continue gender affirming hormones.
If you are enrolled in the Student Health Plan, while not mandatory, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with the Student Health Plan Manager, to discuss insurance coverage and answer any questions you might have, by emailing Michele Gregory or calling 609-258-3138.
For students who are not enrolled in the Student Health Plan, we recommend you reach out to your insurer to gain a full understanding of the coverage available to you.
Medical appointments can be scheduled with Valerie Lewis, M.D., MPH, by calling the McCosh Health Center front desk at 609-258-3141 during normal business hours.
When you make your appointment over the phone, you do not have to disclose what your appointment is regarding if you are not comfortable doing so. It is ok to tell the client service representative that you are scheduling for “concerns.”
Initiating or starting hormones involves a minimum of two medical appointments:
- An initial 30-minute consultation to review your medical history, discuss goals, expectations, and risks of hormones, and to discuss the process and appointment schedule.
- A second 30-minute appointment where you and a clinician will review the informed consent, review instructions for taking hormones, prepare prescriptions for hormones, and do any necessary lab work.
The follow up visit schedule will be reviewed and discussed at your initial visit but a typical schedule is every 3 months for the first year after initiating hormones and then every 6-12 months after. You can expect to have bloodwork done at each follow up visit.
Prescriptions for hormones
Prescriptions for hormones are sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice. Most students who live on or close to campus use the CVS on Nassau Street.
- If you are enrolled in the Student Health Plan, prescriptions for hormones are covered. Visit the SHP website to learn more about your prescription/medical benefits or to contact the SHP office for additional information.
- If you are not enrolled in the Student Health Plan, you will need to contact your insurer/prescription benefits carrier to learn about your coverage.
Process for obtaining gender affirming surgeries and procedures
Aetna Student Health Plan (SHP) coverage/details
Covered Medical Expenses under the SHP include charges incurred by a covered person for medically-necessary surgery, mental health, prescription drugs, and other related services. All surgical procedures require consultation with a UHS medical provider and pre-certification. The SHP covers 90% of the negotiated or recognized charge for covered medical expenses related to gender affirmation after applicable deductibles are met.
See relevant excerpts from the Student Health Plan Document on:
Video from Provider Panel (June 3, 2020)
1"Informed consent" means that UHS will provide you with the most up-to-date information about benefits and known risks associated with procedures or treatments and help you decide whether that procedure or treatment is right for you and your body.
2 As an enrollee on the Student Health Plan, you have access to the Aetna Preferred Provider Network. To reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, select a Preferred Provider. It may be to your advantage to use a Preferred Provider due to the Negotiated Charges these providers have agreed to accept as payment for their services.
3 "CPT codes" stand for “Current Procedural Terminology” and are standard codes that any surgeon in the U.S. will be able to provide.