LGBT people with incomes between 139% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level made particularly significant gains: Between 2013 and 2014, uninsurance in this income range dropped by 22 percentage points, from 48% to 26%.
Of all respondents who explored their coverage options during the first open enrollment period,
- 35% found out they were eligible for Medicaid coverage — of whom 78% enrolled.
- Among those who were not Medicaid-eligible, 20% purchased a plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Almost half of those who purchased coverage were able to select a plan that costs less than $100 per month.
But much work remains to be done to ensure that the ACA effectively addresses uninsurance in LGBT communities. We found that 26% of LGBT people who could potentially get financial help to get covered were uninsured in 2014 — compared to an estimated 20% among the general population in the same income range.
Reasons given for uninsurance included employment discrimination, which traps many LGBT people in poverty and lower-wage jobs that don’t offer benefits, and insurance exclusions targeting transgender individuals and others considered to have pre-existing conditions. Respondents in same-sex relationships also reported persistent barriers to coverage: In both 2013 and 2014, approximately 50% of those who had tried to access coverage for a same-sex spouse or partner reported encountering trouble, and nearly three in four reported feeling discriminated against in the process.
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