There is much to celebrate this June during LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) Pride Month. First, recent polling shows that American’s have a more positive attitude toward same-sex marriage and sexual orientation with the majority of American’s saying they support same-sex marriage. Secondly, health care reform, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is helping to close health disparities in the LGBTQ community.
Learn and celebrate. The Center for American Progress has released an interactive quiz on health care reform and what it does for LGTBQ individuals. Read the “study guide” we have created and then click the link below to take the quiz!
First, some things you should know about the LGTBQ community:
- Discriminatory practices and implications on gay adults. Unequal policies in the workplace can result in discriminatory practices among gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals – such as being unable to receive insurance as an add-on to a partner’s employer-sponsored plan. These practices have contributed to gay, lesbian and bisexual adults being twice as likely to be uninsured and more likely to delay medical care due to cost.
- LGTBQ adults are less likely than straight adults to report having excellent or very good overall health. Compared to 83% of straight adults, only 77% of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults and 67% of transgender adults report excellent or very good overall health. Contributing to this, LGTBQ individuals are more likely to feel discriminated against both inside and outside of the doctor’s office. A specific example of disparities among transgender individuals is emotional health, as 50% of transgender individuals report suicidal thoughts, compared to 2% of straight individuals.
LGTBQ and Health Care Reform:
- Health care reform and LGTBQ insurance coverage gaps. Health care reform has two key provisions that will largely impact the LGTBQ community. Expanding Medicaid and expanding private coverage through insurance Exchanges. This will ensure that LGTBQ individuals who were unable to afford coverage will be eligible for Medicaid or to purchase affordable coverage through the Exchange. Further, discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity will not be allowed.
- Increasing data collection, decreasing disparities. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will begin to collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity. This will allow for a better understanding about specific health disparities that exist among the LGTBQ community, and help policymakers, advocates, and the medical community find evidence-based best-practice solutions to reduce disparities.
- LGTBQ individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Under the ACA, not only will there be increased access through Medicaid and private insurance through exchanges, but the ACA will also protect LGTBQ individuals from being dropped or denied coverage based on their HIV status.
For more information on LGTBQ and health care reform:
Check out our past blog, during National Women’s Health week, on health care reform and women in the LGBTQ community, here.
Click, here, for a top ten list on what health care reform does for the LGBTQ community.