12% US LGBTQ+ adults claim medical insurance discrimination – InsuranceNewsNet

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Greater than 12% of U.S. adults self-identifying as LGBTQ+ say they’ve been discriminated by their medical insurance provider, in line with a latest survey by HealthCare.com.

With a record 7.1% of U.S. adults self-identifying as LGBTQ+, the medical insurance comparison site launched the survey to raised understand these communities’ experiences with providers starting from Medicare to employer plans. It surveyed 520 LGBTQ+ U.S. adults aged 18 and over.

“This survey uncovered reported discrimination by LGBTQ+ individuals from health insurers, which is probably going one more contributing factor to the poorer health outcomes documented amongst LGBTQ+ groups,” says Rutgers associate professor and LGBTQ+ health equity expert Dr. Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger.

Lelutiu-Weinberger said a minimum of two directions can emerge from this finding:
1. Further research must be conducted to find out the kinds and frequency of discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ people by insurers.
2. This novel line of research can inform interventions and/or policy around targeting one of these discrimination.”

At the identical time 1-in-8 respondents said they’d experienced discrimination by their health insurer due to their sexual orientation, about 30% (about 1-in-3) said they believed medical insurance coverage was improving for LGBTQ+ Americans.

Still, the survey revealed wide gaps in understanding coverage options. A full 60% of those surveyed said they didn’t know if their insurer covered gender-affirming medication, gender-affirming procedures, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or fertility treatments.

“It’s been 10 years since FDA approval of PrEP,” Dr. Lelutiu-Weinberger said of the drugs for people in danger for HIV. “The incontrovertible fact that so many individuals are still unsure about access and anxious about uncomfortable side effects, despite all of the efforts which were made for PrEP promotion, is alarming.”

About 20% of respondents said that their insurance doesn’t cover any of the gender-affirming medication, while 10% said their policies cover gender-affirming hormones, and 10% said their policies cover PrEP; 8% said their policies cover fertility treatments, and seven% gender-affirming procedures.

The survey also found that 3-in-10 respondents carry greater than $1,000 in medical debt, an amount much higher than the overall population of Americans (6%). For Millennial LGBTQ+ individuals, the share with medical debt rises to 56%.

HealthCare.com’s survey, nevertheless, showed that the LGBTQ+ community is healthier off in some elements of medical insurance and private finance than Americans as an entire, and worse off in others.

On the entire, participants have an uninsured rate of under 7%, somewhat lower than the nearly 9% uninsured rate of the overall population.

“Across the several subgroups, bisexual, queer, pansexual, asexual, and unsure/questioning groups usually tend to be uninsured than lesbian, gay, and transgender-identified respondents,” the survey said. “Although the numbers inside each of those subgroups are small, calling for caution in drawing conclusions.”

Amongst respondents, the most important number have Medicare (33%), followed by employer insurance (23%), Medicaid (18%), and personal insurance from a federal or state exchange (10%).

Probably the most notable difference the survey identified between the LGBTQ+ community and the overall population involved personal savings for a health emergency. When asked how much they’ve in savings for medical bills, 24% of LGBTQ+ respondents say they’ve greater than $6,000 in savings, in comparison with just 14% of the overall population.

The complete survey results could be found here.

Doug Bailey is a journalist and freelance author who lives outside of Boston. He could be reached at [email protected].

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