Open enrollment, or the time of the year that millions of Americans can enroll in health insurance plans for the coming year, has begun! Open enrollment runs from November 1 to December 15, so NOW is the time to sign up and to encourage anyone who needs health insurance to sign up for coverage for 2019.
This cannot be overstated: health insurance is critically important to the LGBT community. Health insurance means LGBT people can get the health care they need, from transgender-related care and life-saving HIV drugs, to HIV prevention like PrEP and other routine medical care.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), the number of low- and middle-income LGBT people with health insurance rose from 66% in 2013 to 78% in 2017. And despite efforts by the Trump Administration and members of Congress to repeal it or to gut its key provisions, the Affordable Care Act is still here and still providing crucial health care protections, access, and options to everyone.
According to Out2Enroll, the national campaign to empower LGBT individuals and communities to get access to health care, there are more insurers than before, which means prices have stabilized, and according to data released by the Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services, four in five people who purchased insurance through HealthCare.gov received financial help to lower their premiums, and many are playing less than they have in past years. In fact, many people can find health insurance for under $75/month.
Importantly, all LGBT people are still protected against discrimination in health insurance and health care. In other words, the nondiscrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act remain. This means that any healthcare provider, clinic, hospital, or insurer must treat all people fairly and cannot discriminate based on someone’s gender identity or expression. The headlines may be confusing, and there is work to be done to protect these crucial provisions, but nothing has changed when it comes to health care. Everyone who needs health insurance should receive it, regardless of who they are.
Learn more in this graphic from Out2Enroll: