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Six Ways Obamacare Helps LGBT People

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How will ObamaCare affect the LGBTQ community?

Obamacare is a big deal for LGBT people. As you may know, the Supreme Court  upheld the entire Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) last year. I’m an attorney in Orlando focusing on helping same-sex couples, and I’ve been asked from time to time about what changes we should expect with Obamacare implementation. Now that more and more provisions of Obamacare are taking effect, LGBT people stand to benefit.

Here’s six reasons why:

1. Data collection to understand LGBT health.

Part of Obamacare includes national data collection, beginning in 2013, that would analyze the health and care needs of LGBT people. Without Obamacare, no specific program would be in place to study that.

2. More coverage for people with HIV.

Obamacare makes sure insurance companies cover people with preexisting conditions, such as HIV. The cost to get insurance for a person with HIV is extraordinarily high if not impossible. Obamacare makes sure that person can still get adequate coverage.

3. Preventive cover for HIV under Medicare.

Under Obamacare, people on Medicare get free annual checkups, which includes preventive services. These preventive services include HIV and other STD testing.

4. Diversity of health care services and staff.

Part of Obamacare gives grants to health centers that have expertise in serving minorities and typically undeserved populations, including gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

5. Less expensive care for people with HIV or AIDS.

Living with HIV or AIDS is expensive. Obamacare makes prescription drugs cheaper , which lets people with HIV or AIDS get medication more easily.

6. Ending discrimination in health care services.

One section of Obamacare ensures that people with HIV or AIDS are not discriminated against by health care providers. This includes not just treatment, but also in hiring policies and the workplace.

Keep in mind that while the Supreme Court has held that Obamacare is valid, the law can still be repealed if Congress, under new leadership, repeals the law after the November election. Thus, all of these benefits can still be taken away.

Photo by Kevin Wong released under a Creative Commons license.

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Gideon Alper

Gideon Alper