With the changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, equality in healthcare, too, finally begins to look hopeful. To be certain people know their rights, the Center for American Progress has released a series of “consumer-friendly fact sheets.”
As a group that until recently has been largely invisible, especially to the field of medicine, many within the LGBT community have been getting health care that was inadequate at best; however, even the best coverage is only so useful if an individual is unfamiliar with what their specific policy has to offer. Because the ACA is so far-reaching, it’s unrealistic to expect most people to be familiar with more than an overview of it, especially when not all of it is relevant to everyone.
The idea of a “gay lifestyle” may be nonsensical to many, but the truth is that those in the LGBT community do in fact lead sufficiently different lives to result in different risk factors regarding general health. As such, the Center for American Progress has put out multiple fact sheets, clearly explaining key points in the ACA that are specifically aimed at the LGBT set, including one just for transgender people, and common health concerns they might have.
Currently, there are four LGBT-specific fact sheets available for download:
Covers guaranteed availability of coverage, meaning insurance applicants will no longer be turned down for pre-existing conditions such as HIV, cancer, or even gender dysphoria; changes to insurance premiums, regarding what can no longer be used as a reason to increase monthly premium costs; and changes in benefits covered by insurance plans, meaning what the ACA requires insurance plans cover, such as preventive and wellness services.
Covers new laws regarding protection from discrimination; Essential Health Benefits, meaning what the ACA requires insurance plans cover, such as prescription drugs; new protections in health insurance marketplaces; and how the ACA is indirectly causing trickle-down effects, meaning many states are now taking the time to clarify state laws related to insurance nondiscrimination. .
Covers the difference between Medicaid and Medicare; explains eligibility requirements for Medicaid; what health reform changes about eligibility for Medicaid; and what Medicaid covers. .
Explains the three different kinds of Health Insurance Marketplaces: state-run; partnership, meaning those that are run together by the state and the federal government; and federal, run by the Department of Health and Human Services.