What the Affordable Care Act Means for LGBT People and Their Families

Filed under: Health & Aging

HRC joined Matt Heinz, the Director of Provider and LGBT Outreach at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for an important webinar to discuss the impacts of the Affordable Care Act on the LGBT community.  On the one year anniversary of the Windsor decision, we reflected on what the ACA means for newly married couples and couples living in states where same-sex marriage is being recognized for the first time.  The webinar also addressed the ACA's discrimination protections and how these tools will effect the health of the LGBT community more broadly.

The following are the main points Heinz shares in the video. 

  • Legally married same-sex couples are protected under the ACA regardless of what state they live in, even if those states do not recognize same-sex marriage.
  • The ACA protects LGBT patients from discriminatory practices based on their health status, such as being HIV positive.
  • The ACA does not place limits on medical coverage based on health status, such as monthly or annual limits on HIV medication.
  • Many LGBT people will be protected from discrimination by federal statute on the basis of sex stereotyping or gender identity.
  • If a state has recently recognized same-sex marriage, newly married same-sex couples can undergo a special enrollment period to enter the healthcare marketplace and join a family insurance plan. LGBT families with any questions about health insurance plans can call the healthcare call center at 1-800-318-2596 for more information about anything from special enrollment to basic healthcare terminology.
  • Because of LGBT health disparities such as increased tobacco use and risk of obesity, the ACA provides wellness and prevention treatments such as screenings, blood tests, counseling, and other services for no additional costs to the monthly premium.
  • About 80 percent of people applying for healthcare coverage will qualify for financial assistance under the ACA.  

Watch the full webinar below.