YOU DESERVE THE BEST HEALTH CARE. The biggest risk to your health is NOT visiting a health care provider to access the care you need and deserve.
With recent policy changes, including the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the law is on your side.
HERE IS SOME INFORMATION TO HELP YOU BECOME YOUR OWN ADVOCATE.
- You cannot be discriminated against by hospitals based on your sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability (which includes HIV status). This applies to services and interactions with healthcare providers.
Health Insurance Coverage
- You cannot be charged more for health insurance or services because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- You cannot be denied or limited coverage based on “pre-existing conditions,” like sexual orientation, gender identity, or health condition (including HIV status).
- For chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS, you are entitled to the care you need with no lifetime dollar limits.
- Same-sex spouses must be offered the same health insurance coverage as opposite-sex spouses—regardless of where you live. As long as you were married in a state that has marriage equality, you can enroll in spousal coverage.
- You have a right to medically necessary services, as determined by you and your provider (not the insurer), if those services are provided to other patients without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Example: Estrogen for post-menopausal cisgender women AND for transgender women).
- Colorado prohibits anti-transgender exclusions and clauses in private plans sold in Colorado.
- All free preventive services offered to cisgender (non-transgender) patients also apply to transgender
- Hormones and puberty-blockers are covered under Colorado Medicaid.
- You now have the right to get gender-affirming surgery as part of Medicare.
- Not all Marketplace plans or private plans cover gender-confirming surgery. Investigate the Evidence or Certificate of Coverage before you purchase a plan.
- Your marriage in Colorado will be recognized for all Medicaid.
- You may qualify for Medicaid if your household income is less than 133% Federal Poverty Level, even without being pregnant, married, or under 18 years old.
Hospital Visitation & Representation
- You can have anyone you like visit you in the hospital or long-term care facility (nursing home), regardless of blood or legal relationship.
- You can fill out a Hospital Visitation Directive once admitted so as to leave no room for error or miscommunication.
- Hospitals must apply rules equally to everyone, i.e. opposite-sex and same-sex partner visitation at certain hours.
- You can appoint anyone to be your Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA), which is the person who would make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so (see resources below).
Preventive Health Services for Adults
- Under all Marketplace plans and most private plans, you have access to free preventive services to help you get the treatment you need. Services include:
- Screenings for Depression, Tobacco-Use, Alcohol Misuse, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Domestic Violence, and more
- Annual Well Visits
- Women’s preventive services (e.g. Pap smear, mammography). This applies to both cisgender and transgender women.
- Seek out word of mouth recommendations from other LGBT people.
- Call your health insurance plan — ask for a list of LGBT-friendly providers.
- Search for providers listed in an LGBT organization’s database.
- The Center – Advancing LGBT Colorado
- The Gender Identity Center of Colorado
- LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild of Denver
- One Colorado
- Trans Health Boulder County
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- Denver Health LGBTQ Patient Navigators
- RAD Remedy — Trans & Queer Referral Aggregator Database (Yelp for providers)
- Search provider profiles for areas of interest and expertise in LGBT people and families
- Visit the clinic — look for LGBT magazines, pamphlets, or posters
- Meet with the provider. Does the provider seem comfortable with you and knowledgeable about your unique health issues?
- If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with your provider, it is your right to change providers with no hassle and no need to explain yourself.
- Healthcare Bill of Rights
- American Civil Liberties Union
- National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
- Lambda Legal
- Human Rights Campaign — post-Defense Of Marriage Act information
- Transgender Equality in Health Care
- Coverage FAQs, e.g. are hormones and gender-confirming surgery covered? Includes how to fight discrimination
- Free preventive health services
- Joint Commission: Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community
- Free Help with Insurance Application
- CDC: LGBT Health
- From Coverage to Care: A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You
- Medical Forms & Information (Colorado)
- Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA)
- Advanced Directives (Living Will)
- CPR Directive
- Health Labs – Fast, Private & Affordable Lab Testing
If you experience discrimination in health care, file a complaint immediately.
- Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services
- Joint Commission (accreditation program for hospitals) — The Joint Commission explicitly prohibits hospitals or other accredited providers from discriminating based on LGBT status
- Colorado Division of Insurance
- Colorado Civil Rights Division
- Your health insurance carrier.
- Note: if ID card has “CO-DOI,” your plan is subject to CO’s insurance laws and rules
In collaboration with: