The Top 5 Things You Should Know About Obamacare and Open Enrollment



obamacare-01There’s been a lot of confusing talk about Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) over the last week or so, and our government has now been shutdown because of conservatives who are hellbent on repealing the law. We want to give you the facts about how Obamacare benefits LGBT people.

The truth is, for people who are already insured, not much will change. A good change if you’re already insured is that you can get basic preventive care like breast cancer and STI screenings with no co-pay. If you don’t currently have insurance, during open enrollment — which starts October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014 — it’ll be easier to get affordable health insurance. We put together a list of FAQs to help answer any questions you may have about open enrollment. You can also visit www.healthcare.gov to learn more.

There are many reasons that the LGBT community should be excited about the benefits of Obamacare and open enrollment. Here are 5 things we think you should know:

  1. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We found in our study “Injustice at Every Turn” that 28% of transgender Americans have postponed medical care due to discrimination. The Affordable Care Act should put a stop to this discrimination. If you do experience discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. If you are denied a claim because of who you are, you can appeal it.
  2. People can no longer be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions like being a survivor of domestic violence, living with HIV/AIDS or being diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder/Dysphoria.
  3. Obamacare also provides free preventive care, including free STI and HIV screening, help to stop smoking, domestic violence counseling, and screening for things like depression, drug and alcohol misuse and diabetes.
  4. Health care will be more affordable, and that’s a huge benefit to LGBT people who are disproportionately poor. Previously, according to “Injustice at Every Turn,” 48% of transgender Americans surveyed couldn’t afford health care. Affordability will help many more people get insured and live healthier lives.
  5. Young people will be able to stay on their parent or guardian’s plan up to age 26.