New Report Highlights Safety Net Health Plan Efforts to Address Gaps in Care for LGBTQI+ Individuals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2022
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, email@example.com
WASHINGTON—A new report from the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) assesses the ways in which discrimination continues to contribute to health disparities in LGBTQI+ communities and meaningful efforts Medicaid health plans have undertaken to resolve them.
The report was written by ACAP AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana Health Policy Fellow Caroline Bonaventure.
Despite recent progress, LGBTQI+ communities continue to face substantial discrimination and inequities in health care, among many other areas of life. LGBT status is associated with increased risk for and earlier onset of multiple comorbidities, such as asthma, allergies, osteoarthritis, and gastrointestinal disease, as well as higher risk for behavioral health problems, including psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, violence and victimization, and suicidal ideation.
The Medicaid program is a critical source of health care coverage for LGBTQI+ communities. As the national discussion focuses increasingly on health equity and efforts to eradicate health disparities, this report explores the current status of health equity efforts in Medicaid for LGBTQI+ individuals and ways Safety Net Health Plans meaningfully contribute to these efforts.
The plans highlighted in the report have engaged in advocacy, implemented programming, and adopted enterprise-level policies to address barriers to health care, increase training for providers, and ultimately, decrease disparities in care for LGBTQI+ individuals.
“A great deal of work remains to be done to improve health equity for LGBTQI+ people,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “By highlighting solutions already in place in the Medicaid sphere, we hope this report can serve as a starting point to recognize and remove barriers that allow disparities in health to persist. ACAP and our member Safety Net Health Plans are fully committed to rooting out health inequities of all kinds. This report represents one of many steps forward.”
“No one should hesitate to seek medical care when they need it. It is both shameful and entirely preventable that so many LGBTQI+ people do so rather than endure the discrimination, harassment, and even refusal of services that too often await us,” added Harper Jean Tobin, noted LGBTQI+ policy advocate and former policy director of the National Center for Transgender Equity. “Reducing disparities requires concerted efforts like those laid out in this report from health plans and others to support and make space for LGBTQI+ people.”
Read the full report at communityplans.net.
ACAP represents 74 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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