The legal rights for the LGBTQ+ community continue to evolve and expand. Many people still face problems when it comes to finding medical providers and health insurance. Since navigating the health insurance world may be more difficult for those in the LGBTQ+ community, below is a helpful guide to help you get started.
Find the Perfect Healthcare Provider
With so much discrimination facing the LGBTQ+ community, finding the perfect provider may sometimes be challenging. Individuals should strive to find someone that makes them feel comfortable. Choose a provider that understands what the LGBTQ+ community faces, including their mental and physical needs. If you are unsure about where to get started, The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association provides a list of healthcare providers who serve the LGBTQ+ community.1
Be Upfront with Your Provider
Your physician needs to understand your gender identity and sexual orientation to better address your specific health needs and risks. Don't be afraid to start the conversation with specific medical questions related to your gender identity or sexual orientation.
For transgender individuals, this could be conversations about hormone therapy and surgical procedures. You may also have questions regarding sexual and reproductive health. By going in prepared, you can ask for the information you need. You want a medical provider who is on the same page.1
Know Your Protections
The LBGTQ+ community has had to fight for equal treatment with healthcare providers and insurance companies. A lack of understanding and prejudice has kept many in the LBGTQ+ community from getting the care and treatment they need. Only 18 states and territories in the United States have legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by insurance companies. Advocates are continuing to push for legislation in other states. If you feel that you have been discriminated against based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, it is crucial to report your concerns to your health insurance company and file a discrimination complaint with your state agency.1
Health Insurance for Partners
Another issue of concern in the LBGTQ+ community is obtaining healthcare coverage for domestic partners and their dependents. There is no federal law that requires same-sex partners to be covered under their partner's insurance if they are not married. Yet, many health insurance carriers offer the option if the domestic partnership falls under specific parameters. If you need health insurance for your partner, check with your healthcare company to see the qualifications required to obtain coverage for them and their dependents.2
While healthcare has come a long way in its treatment of the LBGTQ+ community, there is still a long way to go. Don't be afraid to be your own advocate and take charge of your healthcare. Find a provider who you are comfortable with and who is able to address your questions and medical concerns so that you get the care you need to lead a healthier life.
1Healthcare and Health Insurance for LGBTQ+ People, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/insurance-for-lgbtq-people-5179642
24 Ways to Invest in Your Mental Health Bank, Forwardtogether.org, https://forwardtogether.org/tools/lgbt-health-care-guide/
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This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
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