Task Force Action Fund welcomes President Obama’s statement on the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama this week reaffirmed that he will fight to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) works despite opposition from those against quality health care for all.

“Access to quality health care is a right and Obamacare is a giant step towards delivering that right to all Americans,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. “We stand with the President in his unshakable commitment to this fundamental component of a transformed society. We also encourage everyone to fully educate themselves on how to access the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.”

Obamacare is vitally important for LGBT individuals and families.

  • For the first time, the health care law extends federal non-discrimination protections on the basis of sex to the health care system. The Department of Health and Human Services has clarified that sex-based discrimination protections include protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Starting in January 2014, each state will have a Health Benefit Exchange, a health insurance “supermarket” where individuals and families can buy quality health care plans at an affordable price.
  • No state’s exchange may discriminate against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or other factors such as race, ethnicity, primary language or disability. This includes protections from discrimination in benefits design, enrollment, marketing or any aspect of the exchange.
  • These same protections apply to any plan that is required to meet the “Essential Health Benefits” Standard — a basic minimum list of coverage requirements for most health plans offered in the country. This means that the ACA has radically changed the way the insurance industry treats LGBT people.
  • Starting in 2014 insurance companies cannot deny health care coverage simply because you have a pre-existing condition, which will ensure that transgender people and people with HIV will be able to get the health care coverage they need.

Read more about how the Affordable Care Act improves health care access for low-income and LGBT individuals here.

Read more information about ACA options for the LGBT community here.

Read a guide for LGBT people choosing health care plans here.