Affordable Care Act
On October 1, 2013, health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act will open for enrollment in states throughout the country. These marketplaces will act as one-stop-shops for health insurance, allowing individuals and families to compare, apply for, and enroll in a healthcare plan all in one place. Access to these marketplaces will be available online, over the phone, and in person at physical offices.
The Marketplace, You, and Your Family
A primary goal of these insurance marketplaces is to ensure healthcare is affordable and easy to access for all Americans. Family Equality Council urges you to review your options and to enroll. While seeking healthcare through these marketplaces, LGBT individuals and their families should know:
- Discrimination in the marketplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited. Insurance providers and navigators – consumer assistant agents whose job is to help guide potential enrollees through the marketplace – are legally prohibited from discriminating against LGBT individuals.
- Plans include coverage for the diverse needs of LGBT individuals and their families. Options for coverage will cover doctor visits, hospitalization, emergency services, and more.
- Coverage for same-sex partners or families with parents who are LGBT is available. In many states, same-sex partners and families with parents who are LGBT will be eligible to enroll in family plans. In states without this option, these families will be eligible for tax credits to cover the costs of purchasing a plan.
- No one may be denied coverage based on a pre-existing health condition. For example, you cannot be denied coverage based on a chronic illness or disease, HIV status, prior pregnancy, or receiving or having received transgender-related care.
- Financial assistance is available to help individuals and families afford coverage. Depending on you or your family’s income, tax credits and subsidies may be available to assist in purchasing healthcare coverage.
How to Enroll
Comparing, applying for, and enrolling in health care coverage in the marketplaces is simple. You can find plan information and enroll online, via phone, or in person beginning on October 1, 2013. Open enrollment continues through March 2014.
For detailed information about plans or to enroll, go to www.healthcare.gov and select your state of residence.
For more information on how the Affordable Care Act and the insurance marketplaces benefit families with parents who are LGBT, see Family Equality Council’s resource guide “The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Families: Everything You Need to Know.” You can also access additional LGBT-specific guidance and plan information at Where to Start, What to Ask: A Guide for LGBT People Choosing Health Care Plans and www.out2enroll.org.