Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 12, 2013
Seeking to reduce health disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the National LGBT Health Education Center at The Fenway Institute, and the Center for American Progress have released Optimizing LGBT Health Under the Affordable Care Act: Strategies for Health Centers, a guide detailing how the ACA will improve LGBT health and best practices for health centers to increase enrollment of LGBT people in coverage under the ACA.
Download a free copy of the PDF here.
“The long history of discrimination in health care and societal bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people has created alarming health disparities for this community,” said Harvey Makadon, MD, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center. “LGBT people have disproportionately high rates of tobacco use, HIV infection, encounters with violence and homelessness, elevated rates of depression and suicide attempts, and reduced access to preventive health services. The ACA reforms described in our guide represent a critical step toward addressing these disparities and improving the health of LGBT Americans.”
Optimizing LGBT Health Under the Affordable Care Act lays out five ways in which the ACA improves access to care for LGBT Americans:
The guide also describes a number of strategies health centers can take to boost enrollment of LGBT people in the ACA, after research conducted earlier this year by the Center for American Progress showed high rates of uninsurance within the LGBT community and an overwhelming need for enrollment assistance from people with understanding of the unique concerns of LGBT people, including family coverage, previous discrimination, and exclusions of coverage for transgender health care.
Some of the strategies detailed in the guide include:
“In our recent national survey of LGBT people who are eligible for financial assistance to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act, one-third of respondents were presently uninsured,” said Kellan Baker, Associate Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. “Two-thirds of these people had been without coverage for over two years, and nearly half had never before shopped for health insurance. It is imperative that health centers focus outreach efforts on connecting LGBT Americans and their families to the coverage they need to stay healthy. This guide is a valuable tool to help health centers do that.”