The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has paved the way for many exciting changes within the American healthcare system, bringing along added benefits that we have never seen before. The effects on the LGBT community in particular are astounding. As a Certified Application Counselor, I have had the opportunity to work directly with LGBT individuals in informing on the added benefits the ACA has brought to our community. This law has been able to decrease the uninsured rate within the LGBT community and connect individuals to much needed care. In my own personal enrollment experience, I have interacted with people in my own community to answer questions concerning health insurance, enroll people in affordable plans, and connect them with LGBT friendly medical providers in the area.
So, what are these new added benefits that the ACA brings to the LGBT community? Here are some of the protections mandated under the ACA:
There are now nondiscrimination protections in place in order to prevent an individual from being denied health coverage based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
You can no longer be denied health insurance based on a pre-existing condition. For example, an insurance company can no longer deny you coverage or charge you a higher premium because you are Transgender or have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS
Same-sex couples who are legally married can be apply together and enroll in the same plan on the Marketplace
There is financial assistance available, for those who qualify, as well as in-person assistance free of charge to help anyway submit their online application and pick out a plan
Open Enrollment is now underway and runs until January 31st. If you need help enrolling in a health insurance plan or have any questions, you can use the Find Local Help tool located at covermissouri.org.