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CONNECTING LGBTQ+ INDIVIDUALS WITH INCLUSIVE HEALTH BENEFITS: PART 1

by | Jul 9, 2021 | ACA Enrollment, Affordable Care Act (ACA), American Exchange News, Health Cost, Health Equity, Healthcare, HIV, LGBTQ, main post, Open Enrollment, Patients, Ryan White HIV/AIDS

More than 30% of LGBTQ+ Americans faced discrimination of some kind in the past year, including more than 60% of transgender individuals, according to a survey of 1,528 self-identified LGBTQ adults aged 18 and older conducted between June 9-30, 2020 by the Center for American Progress and the nonpartisan research group NORC at the University of Chicago.

The discrimination is putting their physical and mental health at risk:

  • Nearly 30% of LGBTQ Americans had difficulty accessing necessary healthcare due to cost:
    • For transgender individuals, it was closer to 50%
  • 15% of LGBTQ Americans reported postponing or avoiding medical treatment:
    • For transgender Americans, the number jumped to 30%

LGBTQ+ Members Have Specific Healthcare Needs

LBGTQ+ community members have very specific healthcare needs based on several factors, such as hormone replacement therapy, substance abuse treatment, or mental health counseling services. But cost and discrimination, especially for transgender individuals, has been a roadblock for LGBTQ+ members seeking health insurance (see Figure 1).

Figure 14

So how do you find the right insurance coverage for the physical and mental health needs of you and your family?

The Marketplace Offers Low Costs Plans That Don’t Discriminate

The Federal marketplace is a good place to start. Marketplace plans are not allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals and families. They also cannot deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition, including HIV. 

During the Affordable Care Act (ACA) special open enrollment period available through August 15, 2021, eligible consumers are paying less to enroll in marketplace plans. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 347,000 new consumers who enrolled between April 1 – May 31 selected plans for as little as $10 or less after advance premium tax credits (APTC) were applied. 

Depending on where you live, you may have several health plans to choose from. It can be difficult to sort through all the plans to see if they cover the services that are important to you. It is even harder to find out how much of those services are actually covered by the plan. 

American Exchange has licensed, ACA-certified agents who have helped more than 60,000 individuals and families enroll in marketplace health plans, including 17,000 Ryan White program clients. Call us at 1.888.995-1674 or visit email us at info@americanexchange.com. You must enroll by August 15, so call today.

Part 2 of this blog series details how our enrollment agents have helped members of the LGBTQ+ community find the right plans and providers who understand how to treat your specific healthcare needs. It includes a section on LGBTQ+ members who become eligible for Medicare. Part 3 focuses specifically on enrollment for transgender individuals.