Given that the LGBTQ community is less likely to have health insurance than the non-LGBTQ community, it is especially important for LGBTQ folks to know about the benefits provided to them through the Affordable Care Act. Access to affordable health insurance not only provides access to care, but can help address health disparities that currently exist in the LGBTQ community and provide critical preventative care.
Below we’ve listed three quick facts LGBTQ people should be aware of about the ACA, as well as some important resources for learning more about the ACA, coverage options, and LGBTQ health care. Even if you have insurance, talk with your friends and family who don’t and make sure they get the information they need.
1. State marketplaces, health plans and their employees are prohibited from discriminating against the LGBTQ community. And insurers can’t charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition, such as cancer or HIV.
2. The open enrollment period for 2020 coverage begins on November 1, 2019, and ends on December 15, 2019. Learn more about open enrollment here.
3. Regardless of where you live, you are able to sign up online, over the phone or in person for a plan that fits your budget. There are people who can help you navigate the system and provide you with assistance, and there are websites where you can browse plans in your state marketplace. Out2Enroll lists navigators and other resources to help you find the plan that meets your needs and enroll. You can also call 1-800-318-2956, where help is available in more than 100 languages.
4. To ensure your health plan provides non-discrimination protections, including no exceptions due to pre-existing conditions, and complete package of essential health benefits (like prescription drug coverage), enroll or re-enroll through healthcare.gov.
5. Be aware that some companies are marketing look-alike plans, known as short-term duration plans as another option for insurance — however they often lack key health benefits and won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Download this chart created by the Center for Health Law and Policy that compares the benefits of short-term plans with ACA plans.
- Out2Enroll is a coalition of organizations helping LGBTQ people stay healthy through making sure that one of the major benefits of the ACA – access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage – reaches LGBTQ communities.
- Visit www.healthcare.gov to enroll in a new plan, change your current plan and get answers about the Affordable Care Act.
- Get information from the National Center for Transgender Equality on transgender-related health care rights under the Affordable Care Act.
- Get HIV & AIDS ACA enrollment information and coverage resources from Greater than AIDS.
- Need help with your application? Check out the Get Covered Connector to find assistance in your area.