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Victory at UCSC! GSHIP and USHIP will cover transgender healthcare
We just learned today that the UCSC administration officially accepted the joint proposal of GSA, UAW and STIHC (Students for Trans-Inclusive Healthcare) for GSHIP (Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan) and USHIP (Undergraduate Student Health Insurance Plan) benefits. Effective this fall, GSHIP and USHIP will include a $75,000 lifetime benefit for transgender healthcare.
This is a significant achievement, since both plans at Santa Cruz will offer a larger benefit than at any other UC or at Stanford or Caltech (at least so far). In the face of major budget cuts, we not only held the line on our health care -- we got a major improvement in coverage. GSHIP coverage will now be more fair and it will help more graduate students.
How did it happen? It took some planning and united action from different constituencies. It started with a push from STIHC, a group that united undergraduates and graduates pushing for inclusive healthcare in our respective university insurance plans. STIHC organized and won support from UAW-QUAD and from the GSA (in particular the GSHIP committee). Those groups did research, prepared proposals, and mobilized students to tell their story to the UCSC administration.
Congratulations to STIHC for making this a great day for all grad students. And let's hope their campaign can be a model to improve USHIPs and GSHIPs throughout UC.