Regular PROMO Blog readers know how important the Affordable Care Act is to improving LGBTQ health in Missouri. Thanks to health reform, the LGBTQ uninsured rate is lower than ever, more LGBTQ people have access to the health care they need (like mental health care and HIV treatment), and nondiscrimination protections mean our community should finally be getting the respect we deserve when it comes to health care.
Although our community (and our health care) has been under attack in 2017, we’ve got some good news about transgender health! And it couldn’t be a better time because the final deadline to enroll in health insurance at HealthCare.gov is December 15th.
What’s the news? Health insurance from HealthCare.gov is doing much better at covering health care for trans Missourians! Our friends at Out2Enroll took a look and put together this Missouri Trans Health Insurance Guide and plan information.
The results are a bit mixed—plans offered by Cigna affirmatively state that some or all medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria is covered. Plans offered by Anthem should cover transgender health care but include some broad “cosmetic” exclusions that we think could limit access to some services. And plans offered by Ambetter include a broad transgender exclusion. Ambetter included this language even though federal regulations prohibit insurers from discriminating against transgender people.
This is a big improvement from last year—and it’s important to know that no matter what plan you enroll in, you should never face discrimination. If you do, you have rights and we’re here to help. We also urge you not to rely only on the guide. You should carefully look at each plan to make sure it meets your needs or make an appointment with an LGBTQ-friendly enrollment assister who can help for free.
Although there is still work to do, there has never been a better time for transgender people to get covered for 2018. Especially when most people—80%—qualify for financial help and lower premiums. As Mara Keisling recently put it, transgender people should “make a plan to get you and your family covered now, so you—and the rest of us—can keep fighting for the care we need.”