Millions of Americans, including many LGBTQ people, have already enrolled in affordable, quality health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the uninsured rate among low- and middle-income LGBTQ people has halved, from 34% in 2013 to 16% in 2020.
Despite these historic gains, LGBTQ people are still more likely to be uninsured than non-LGBTQ people. Almost one in five LGBTQ adults in the United States (22%) live in poverty, compared to 16% among straight and cisgender gays, and an analysis of health surveys published by the Human Rights Campaign found that one in five LGBTQ adults did not see a doctor in case of need because they could not afford it.
Many may not be insured now, as LGBTQ people have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since about 40% of employed LGBTQ adults work in restaurants and foodservices, Kindergarten to Grade 12. grade and higher education, or hospitals and retail – industries hit hard by the pandemic.
Throughout Pride Month, as we reflect on the importance of ensuring equal rights and protections for LGBTQ people, we must also recognize the critical role that health care plays in the well- be from our community. With LGBTQ people more likely to be uninsured, we need not only a wider conversation within the community about the importance of being covered, but also more education and resources to demystify the issue. process and highlight how easy it is now to register for free or at low cost. cost of health insurance.
HealthCare.gov is open, and anyone who needs health insurance or wants to change plans can do so until August 15. And millions of LGBTQ people are entitled to financial assistance to do so. Four in five people can find health insurance for $ 10 a month through HealthCare.gov – millions more can purchase coverage for free. If you’ve ever bought health insurance – or thought it was too expensive – now is the time to look again.
Health insurance is more affordable than ever thanks to the American Rescue Plan, a new law that first expands the Affordable Care Act by extending financial assistance to 15 million uninsured people and 9 million people already covered.
Plus, at HealthCare.gov, every American has guaranteed access to coverage, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, or any other pre-existing condition.
The Affordable Care Act also protects all LGBTQ people – including transgender, non-binary, gay, and intersex people – from discrimination in health insurance and health care. LGBTQ people cannot be turned down or harassed in hospitals or clinics just because they are transgender or in a same-sex relationship. And health insurers cannot discriminate on the basis of gender identity, which helps ensure transgender people can access the medically necessary care they need to lead happy and healthy lives.
While the Trump administration has attempted to undermine these protections, the Biden administration has made it clear that LGBTQ people should not be discriminated against. If you are being abused by a health insurer or provider, we encourage you to file a complaint with the Civil Rights Office at www.hhs.gov/ocr.
More can and must be done to improve the health of LGBTQ people, but there has never been a better time for our community to get the health insurance we need and deserve. Visit HealthCare.gov today and treat yourself to affordable health insurance this season of pride.
Alphonse david is president of the Human Rights Campaign and Katie Keith is the founder of Out2Enroll.