The LGBTQ community in Los Angeles County has been greatly impacted by access to healthcare. Using data from the California Health Interview Survey, this study examines the differences in health insurance coverage and access to healthcare by sex. The Center for American Progress (CAP) survey reveals that discrimination has prevented a significant number of LGBTQ people from seeking healthcare. Transgender individuals have faced unique obstacles in accessing healthcare, with one in three people having to explain their gender identity to their doctor in order to receive appropriate care.
In response, Commissioner Lara has initiated a data collection process from health insurance companies to identify gaps and create rules that ensure LGBTQ+ consumers can easily access the necessary care. However, the expansion of legislation, lawsuits, and administrative rules that allow broad religious exemptions from providing services is another impediment to LGBTQ people receiving healthcare. The CAP survey also shows that 15% of LGBTQ Americans have postponed or avoided medical treatment due to discrimination, including nearly 3 out of 10 transgender people. Sexual and gender minorities in California face a number of barriers in accessing healthcare, despite having similar or better insurance coverage rates.
The findings emphasize the importance of examining differences between sexual minorities within the LGBT community in terms of access to healthcare when studying disparities among sexual minorities. LGBTQ community health centers are available in some parts of the United States, but they do not provide comprehensive services. The survey also reveals that 7% of LGBTQ people surveyed reported avoiding or delaying care the year before the survey, while 17% of LGBTQ people who had experienced discrimination that year and 19% of transgender people reported avoiding them during that period. Although many states lack explicit state laws against discrimination against LGBTQ people in healthcare, section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides federal protections.
MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, care for loved ones, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life. The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of providing adequate healthcare coverage for LGBTQ individuals in Los Angeles County. It is essential that insurance companies have adequate coverage from culturally competent providers so that LGBTQ+ consumers can easily access the appropriate care they need and obstacles to care are eliminated. Furthermore, it is important for states to pass laws that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in healthcare settings.
This research highlights the need for greater access to healthcare for members of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles County. Discrimination has prevented many individuals from seeking medical treatment and accessing necessary care. Insurance companies must provide adequate coverage from culturally competent providers so that LGBTQ+ consumers can easily access the appropriate care they need and obstacles to care are eliminated. Additionally, states must pass laws that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in healthcare settings.