In Colorado, many people struggle to gain access to the affordable, quality health care they deserve. While LGBT Coloradans face many of the same challenges as heterosexual and non-transgender Coloradans when accessing healthcare, they also encounter unique obstacles when trying to fulfill their specific health needs. One Colorado works to remove the barriers that prevent LGBT Coloradans from receiving adequate and affordable health coverage and care, so that they can live happy and healthy lives.
Data and Research
Overall, there is little data on the health of LGBT Coloradans and our experiences with the health care system. One Colorado has released three groundbreaking reports on LGBT Health in Colorado:
Invisible: The State of LGBT Health in Colorado (2011)
Becoming Visible: Working with Colorado Physicians to improve LGBT Health (2013)
Transparent: The State of Transgender health in Colorado (2014)
Your Health Care Rights
Private Insurance Plans Sold in Colorado* Can Not:
- Consider being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender a pre-existing condition.
- Decide what is medically necessary for you. That is a decision between you and your medical provider.
- Deny transgender Coloradans services that are offered to cisgender (non-transgender) Coloradans.
- Discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
*If your health plan ID card has a “CO-DOI” designation on it, your plan is subject to Colorado’s insurance laws and rules.
Learn more about the Division of Insurance (DOI) bulletin that prohibits discrimination in Colorado health plans here.
Get Covered by Health Insurance
Why should LGBT people get covered?
- You may qualify for financial assistance.
- You can no longer be discriminated against as an LGBT person.
- Same-sex spouses have equal access to family coverage.
- Ever health care plan cover core essential health benefits like routine check-ups and preventative care.
- You may have to pay a fine if you don’t have insurance.
Open Enrollment is currently closed for 2015. If you qualify for a special enrollment period, you can browse and purchase plans on Colorado’s Marketplace at Connect for Health Colorado.
Looking for a transgender inclusive plan? Check out the 2016 Transgender Health Insurance Buyers Guide.
The next open enrollment period is November 1, 2015-January 31, 2016.
If you have a “life-changing event,” you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). A 60-day period outside the regular open enrollment period when an individual and their family have a right to sign up for health insurance. SEPs can be used to newly enroll in the marketplace, or to switch to a different plan. Learn more to see if you qualify.
For lower-income individuals and families (individuals with monthly incomes under $1,305 and families of four under $2,688), Medicaid has ongoing enrollment. To determine if you qualify, click here.
Applying for Medicaid as a same-sex couple: Couples who are legally married in Colorado should apply as one household and identify themselves as being married. Same-sex couples that were married out-of-state in a state that has marriage equality will be recognized as a married couple in Colorado for purposes of applying for Medicaid.
Watch these videos to see how the Affordable Care Act has impacted the lives of LGBT Coloradans:
Need more Resources?
- Out2Enroll has information specifically for the LGBT community about the Affordable Care Act.
- The Top Ten Things Health Reform Does for Gay and Transgender Americans
- The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Americans (from Healthcare.gov)
- The Affordable Care Act and HIV/AIDS (from AIDS.gov)
- Connect for Health Colorado
- Colorado’s Medicaid Program
Question about LGBT Health in Colorado? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.