Like many people across the country, LGBT Americans have long struggled to get the health care they need, when they need it. Adequate health care can literally mean the difference between life and death. Yet too often, barriers like lack of insurance stand in between the LGBT community and good health.
Research commissioned by the Center for American Progress reveals that one in three LGBT Americans are uninsured. Many hardworking LGBT people have medical bills piling up or have put off care because it was too expensive. Health coverage is indisputably an LGBT equality issue.
But there is hope for LGBT people who have been struggling to get the care they need. New, affordable coverage options will be available under the Affordable Care Act, and LGBT Americans and their families will be able to shop for insurance plans starting on October 1 of this year.
To help inform the LGBT community about these new coverage options, the Center for American Progress, the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, and the Federal Agencies Project will announce the launch of a new campaign Thursday, called Out2Enroll. The centerpiece of this initiative is a website tailored to the LGBT community, which includes information about key issues such as coverage for same-sex partners, transgender-inclusive benefits, and anti-discrimination protections introduced by the health reform law.
Out2Enroll will also work with partners from across the country to spread the word about open enrollment, and about insurance coverage options that can open the door to better health. Teaming up with partners such as Enroll America, Community Catalyst, LGBT equality organizations, and consumer health advocates across the country, the unprecedented campaign aims to encourage enrollment through Health Insurance Marketplaces and offer community-specific information to connect LGBT Americans with coverage and navigate these new options.
The Out2Enroll campaign kicks off today with a briefing at the White House, featuring remarks from Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and LGBT health and health reform experts from across the country.
To watch a live stream of the launch event starting at 1:15 pm EST, to get more information about what health reform is doing for the LGBT community, and to come #Out2Enroll, visit www.out2enroll.org.