Kentucky resident Jeff Jones is very much like any other citizen who has not been able to get affordable health insurance before now. If Jones, age 47, would have had the legal right to get married, then he would have instantly been covered under Nathan Walker’s, his life-partner, policy. Walker has partnership insurance at his place of employment, however, the couple has not been in a relationship for enough time to meet the requirements for them. The gay community is finally about to come out now to get health insurance through the Obamacare website.
Jones states that he is not the only individual in Lexington’s LGBT community that is looking for health insurance. Many have turned to him for advice about Obamacare and how they can sign up for insurance at the site, because he use to work in the public health sector. He says that what he found with the website is confusing and he has both a Ph.D. and experience with insurance. A lot of individuals who do not have much education, find these terms completely new to them; it can be daunting.
The LGBT community, as a whole, has less insurance experience than the overall population. A study done by the Center for American Progress discovered that about one-third of gay respondents did not have any insurance. It is believed that almost 16.5 percent of the entire U.S. population is uninsured.
To honor “National Coming Out Day,” which is on Friday, a “Be Out. Be Healthy. Get Covered” crusade has been launched. Along with that, a man named Kellan Baker, who is in control of the program, focuses on various groups and surveys, with many hundreds of gay individuals, heard somber concerns about the present health care state.
He states that, “We have heard from many people that health care is essential. Yet, we need to make sure we are not directing the community to something that will not work. We wanted to make sure the strategies in place will be comprehensive in the community.”
Medical studies have shown that lesbians are much less likely, than other women, to get routine health check-ups that could identify breast and cervical cancer. A woman’s chances of surviving rise considerably if the cancers are caught early enough.
Gay men ended up accounting for over 60 percent of the new HIV infections in 2010, stated the CDC. Regular HIV testing might help stop the virus spreading as it has.
The Obama administration ordered a meeting of LGBT leaders in September. Almost 200 individuals from all across the country met with White House officials to talk about the possible impact of Obamacare. It also considered what LGBT leaders could do to spread the word around.
The main purpose behind the briefing was to help aid community leaders with information, resources and tools; what they needed in order to get involved and be able to help various local LGBT communities get the access they need to affordable, quality, health care, said Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary. She added that Obamacare has nothing to do with politics, but that it is all about dignity.
Before now, the insurance companies were not mandated to give coverage to domestic partners. Now marketplaces will have policies that are wide-ranging and domestic partners benefits will be spelled out very clearly. Yet, before this came along, people who had pre-existing conditions, most of the time, could not get any type of coverage. Now people with ailments that involve continuing treatment, like chronic illnesses such as diabetes, will be able to get health insurance access. Also, there will never be lifetime caps on any coverage, which is very important to those who need constant checkups and who take medicine for any conditions which are chronic.
Jones explained that he will continue looking at the website for the best policy for him. He explained that the Obamacare site did crash a few times when he was there looking at it, but the guides he called on his telephone were nice to work with. They had problems as well signing on when they tried to help him because their computers also were crashing.
Nevertheless, Jones says he is not undetermined. He says he is pretty sure it will work; that it will feel a lot better after he knows that he has health insurance and knows he is covered. It feels good for the gay community to be able to come out to get insurance, like everyone else that needs it, that is if the website does not crash on them.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble