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When LGBT Missourians visit their healthcare provider they often times do not know or understand their rights as patients. It’s important that LGBT Missourians take the time to educate themselves on their rights as patients. Knowing your rights makes it easier for you and your family to make informed decisions about health.

Have you taken Show-Me You? LGBT Missourians, be a part of the solution add your voice today so we can help change disparities LGBT Missourians face.

⇒Visitation Rights

In 2010, a Presidential Directive extended hospital visitations rights to LGBT patients and their families of choice. No longer is it acceptable for Missouri health care providers that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding to deny visitation rights.

LGBT Missourians should take the following steps to ensure that the people we choose are able to visit us and make medical decisions based on our behalf.

  1. Complete your advanced healthcare directive and visitation forms 

    Advanced Healthcare Directives are legal documents that allow you to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot. Forms for LGBT Missourians are made available to the public by the Missouri Bar Association “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Directive”. Make sure to consult with your Attorney for further questions regarding advanced healthcare directives. 

    ⇒Download, Lambda Legal “Tools for Protecting Your Health Care Wishes”

    ⇒Download, National Center for Lesbian Rights “Life Lines: Documents to Protect You and Your Family” 

    ⇒Hospital visitation forms give instruction to your care provider and staff on who is allowed to visit you during your stay. Make sure to work with your local Hospital or health care provider to ensure the proper paperwork is filed. 

  2. Talk with your health care provider about about your preferred visitors and your advanced health directive.

  3. Work with an Attorney and your health care provider to make sure forms are filled out correctly and on file. 

⇒Transgender Patients

Transgender patients seeking care in Missouri face challenges at every turn. Despite the recent legal changes including the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), transgender people continue to encounter barriers to health.

For transgender people basic healthcare starts with being able to access health care facilities free from the fear of discrimination.  Before seeking care, make sure your Hospital has transgender protections by reviewing their LGBT welcoming policies!

A majority of public and private insurance plans still have discriminatory exclusions for transgender-related care, but some states (see map) and health plans are recognizing that these exclusions should no longer exist. In Missouri, there are no public or private insurance plans that include transgender-related coverage.

For more information on local and national resources on transgender health, please see links below:

1. World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care for Transgender Individuals

2. The Fenway Health on Transgender Health 

3. Ten Things Transgender Patients Should Discuss with their Healthcare Provider

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