White House, HHS to hold joint briefing on Obamacare and LGBT community

Staff Reports

WASHINGTON — The White House Office of Public Engagement and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday will host a joint briefing on the Affordable Healthcare Act and its impact on LGBT Americans.

The event will be live streamed, and include remarks from Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and a presentation on how LGBT communities perceive and access health care.

white-house“Despite the tremendous progress we’ve made in achieving equality for the LGBT community, many LGBT individuals still face limited access to health care and insurance, and are less likely to get the preventive care they need to stay healthy,” according to the White House.

The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, addresses some of these needs, by:

  • Starting in 2014, the health care law prevents insurers from denying us coverage or charging us a higher premium because of a pre-existing condition or because we are LGBT.
  • Removing lifetime dollar limits on coverage. That means that people with chronic diseases, like HIV/AIDS, cancer and mental health concerns, can get the care we need. And starting in 2014, all annual limits will be illegal, too.

  • Promoting wellness by requiring insurers to cover preventive care at no additional cost. LGBT adults and teens can get screened by a health professional for HIV and depression without paying co-pays or deductibles. Other preventive services, like cervical cancer screening for sexually active women, obesity counseling for people at risk, and well-woman visits are also covered at no extra cost.

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    Starting October 1, 2013, all Americans without insurance and those looking for better options will have a new place to shop for plans, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and may qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums.

The Affordable Care Act could truly transform the health and well-being of the LGBT community for generations to come, and the upcoming open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplace, – from October 2013 to March 2014 – provides an important opportunity to get folks enrolled.

The live stream will be broadcast at 1:00 EDT at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

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