LGBTQIA+ pride month is way beyond the color parades you see nationwide. It is a day to remember the difficulties and challenges people underwent for the equal rights of all citizens, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation.
However, several community members suffer from health disparities and lack health insurance. According to research, the rate of breast cancer among bisexual and lesbian women is higher than that in heterosexual women.
When compared to heterosexual women, bisexuals, and lesbians get less regular health care and minimal to no health insurance benefits. Also, when it comes to cancer screening tests and regular health care, bisexual men and gay men face similar barriers.
Here are the reasons behind all these barriers against the LGBTQIA+ Community:
Several health insurance plans still fail to cover domestic or unmarried partners. Getting quality health care was challenging for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community until the Supreme Court decided in favor of same-sex marriage.
Unmarried partners can also take advantage of the family health insurance plans from across many states to get coverage in every way possible.
Several LGBTQIA+ members still lack the confidence to inform their sexual orientation to their doctor. That’s because they fear the discrimination might not let them enjoy quality health insurance coverage and health care benefits.
As a result, you’ll be reluctant with your healthcare practitioner, and things will become uncomfortable anytime sooner. You can get a referral to LGBTQIA-friendly healthcare providers and health insurance for LGBTQ by seeking help from the LGBTQ community center or group.
Certain individuals may postpone or refuse healthcare services out of dread of a bad experience with a doctor, particularly regular care like early diagnosis tests. Skipping regular cancer screenings might cause the disease to be discovered later when it is more difficult to cure.
LGBT-friendly service providers are widely available today and can deliver high-quality care. Never give up, and get the polite treatment you need!
Firstly, it’s crucial to find a healthcare provider who is friendly with LGTBQ members, accepts health insurance for LGTBQ, and is educated enough to address the issues that most affect the members of this community.
An ideal way to find such a doctor is via referral from any community member who already underwent the experience. There’s also a list of healthcare providers that accept LGBTQ health insurance and are LGBTQ-friendly, which you can check on the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) site.
It’s crucial to feel at ease with anyone you select. While scheduling the initial consultation, you should inquire if the healthcare provider you choose is experienced in treating members of the LGBTQ+ community.
It is equally vital for healthcare practitioners to be cognizant of the requirements and sentiments of LGBTQ+ patients. This includes training personnel who handle patients at every procedure phase, beginning with scheduling.
Besides healthcare coverage, health insurance plans are another contentious problem for the LGBTQ+ community. Coverage gaps indicate that several LGBTQ+ community members may lack access to the healthcare they want.
Another significant factor is cost, as much research work shows that almost 50% of LGBTQ+ members do not have healthcare since they cannot afford it.
As of now, only 15 US states, along with Washington and Puerto Rico, have passed laws and made it illegal to promote health insurance LGBTQ discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Simply put, only 42% of the LGBTQ members in the US reside in states where health insurance LGBTQ discrimination is banned.
The momentum started to develop for private firms to become more proactive and responsible about anti-discrimination healthcare rules and policies in 2002. It happened right after the launch of the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Several health organizations started publishing vehement anti-discrimination declarations in 2008, urging a more comprehensive insurance policy. Consequently, numerous insurance providers and businesses have begun implementing reforms to safeguard the LGBTQ+ community’s rights to health insurance.
Four out of ten LGBTQ+ individuals who have low incomes and one out of three people without insurance were found to have medical debt in a 2013 poll.
In the present day: Federal equal marriage laws and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have both made securing health insurance for the LGBTQ community’s whole membership possible. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act passed with a provision that restricted healthcare discrimination on the grounds of sex, disability, age, color, or race.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services went a step further in 2016. It included language that broadened the description of sex also to include gender identity and excluded reimbursement of healthcare services for anyone going through a gender transition outright.
The LGBTQ+ community is still shielded from health insurance discrimination despite attempts by the Trump regime to revoke some laws, particularly those pertaining to anti-discrimination.
This happened after the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services concluded its regulatory requirements in June 2020 that broadened the meaning of what was protected under the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act 2019.
Today, the world is progressing towards creating an environment where everyone has equal rights, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.
The US has already implemented laws that promote equal healthcare or health insurance LGBTQ rights. Countries like India are also expected to develop laws that promote equal healthcare rights for the LGBTQ+ community.