“One in three lower-income LGBT adults in America don’t have health insurance. One in three. So we are talking about a community that can be hugely and beneficially impacted upon by what is about to happen,” said Kathleen Sebelius from the US Department of Health & Human Services about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). To help optimize that benefit, the Center for American Progress and the Family Equality Council have released an LGBT guide to health insurance so that the LGBT community get access to the benefits they require. The new resource is called The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Families: Everything You Need to Know
The ACA law means that if you cannot get insurance for yourself or your family through your employer, you will be able to buy insurance through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. October 2013 marked the beginning of a six-month open enrollment period for health insurance and everyone has until March 31, 2014 to sign up for coverage that starts in 2014.
Importantly, the health care law prevents health insurance companies from charging anyone a higher premium just because they happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
From January 1, 2014 it became illegal for any insurance company that offers insurance though the Marketplace to refuse insurance due to sexual orientation or gender identity. “Being LGBT is no longer a pre-existing condition,” said Valerie Jarrett from the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House briefing on the Obamacare for the LGBT community held in September 2013. The ACA also prevents insurers from raising rates or denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or mental health concerns.
The Everything You Need To Know Guide will help couples and parents who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) understand how the ACA benefits LGBT people and their families. The guide provides a basic overview of the ACA, a review of how the act helps you and your family, and an explanation of how you and your family can access affordable health insurance. It’s free to download.
In the video below view the White House on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for the LGBT community.
Image | Kathleen Sebelius | US Department of Health and Human Services | Wikimedia Commons