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Whether you are a transman, transwoman, gender nonbinary or any other gender –  you have gender dysphoria and absolutely want to proceed with top surgery.

You have had your consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in gender affirming top surgery and surgical recommendations were made.

Your therapist has diagnosed you with gender dysphoria. They have written a letter documenting this and supporting your desire for gender affirming top surgery that is in compliance with WPATH standards.

However, you have a real big problem: You don’t have insurance coverage for the procedure.

Maybe you have no health insurance.

Or maybe you do have a health insurance policy but your insurance company sees things differently. It turns out that you are either ineligible for coverage or benefits for gender affirming procedures are a specific exclusion of your particular plan. Furthermore, appeals processes have failed in your attempts to obtain coverage.

Now what?

How can you get your surgery paid for without insurance?

Another possibility that you may be facing is that even if you do have insurance coverage, you will likely be responsible for a co-pay and/or deductible. Of course, the dollar amount of this will generally be far less than if you do not have insurance coverage at all.

Fortunately, there are several different financial options available that may help to provide you with the means to pay for your top surgery.

Let’s explore these possibilities.

You personally pay for your top surgery

If you do not have insurance coverage for top surgery or have a sizable deductible or co-pay, you can pay this amount personally. The money can come from your own savings or checking accounts, credit cards, investments, or other places where you keep funds.

Depending on the policies of the parties to which the payments would go, you may be able to pay by credit card, personal or bank check.

If you don’t have the funds or only a limited amount available, there is also the option to finance your surgery. This would involve taking out a loan from a company that does provide this service. Of course, you would have to qualify for the loan and that would be based on your credit history.

There are several companies that specialize in medical care loans. Two of the more popular ones that our patients use are CareCredit and Alphaeon. You can actually apply directly to these companies though our website.

Another option for a very small minority of individuals is to take out a second mortgage on a house or condominium which they own. There are, however, important considerations here which makes this approach very uncommon.

Assistance from family and friends

Another potential option is to seek financial assistance from family members, such as parent(s) or siblings, or friends. For many, however, this is an absolute no go especially as relates to family.

Where is that so called rich uncle when you need him!


If the above two options are not viable or you are still short on funds, you may want to consider crowdfunding your top surgery.

This is the modern, high tech way of fund raising.

Forget the bake sales, car washes or raffles.

With this approach, you can sell yourself (not literally!) to a large audience and seek contributions from them for your top surgery.

Think of sites like GoFundMe.

Though you may know some reasons that people seek donations on GoFundMe, one of them is for health related needs such as to pay for surgery, cancer care, emergency medical needs and more. In fact, the company even provides an informative guide specifically geared to medical related crowdfunding.

And even better, there is a page designed specifically for gender affirming care fundraising. You can sign up for this on their “Free To Be You” Gender-Affirming Care Fundraising page.
There are other crowd funding sites that you may want to consider. One such alternative is Fundly. It also has detailed guidelines for setting up your own fundraising.


There are several organizations that do offer grants that can help pay for part or all of your gender affirming surgery expenses. However, these may be more difficult to obtain as there are a finite amount of total dollars given out each year and the number of applicants usually far exceeds the resources available.

The following are some of the organizations which presently offer grants. Of course, this could change with time so if you are interested in pursuing this approach, you will need to do your research.

In summary

If you do not have insurance coverage for your top surgery, there are many different options and resources available to you that can help you make your gender affirming top surgery a reality. The above can serve as a guideline for you but consider wisely and do the necessary research.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona





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