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LGBTQ and enrolling at HealthCare.gov? Here’s what you need to know (and how to find help!)

Dec 6, 2023 | English, Marketplace / Healthcare.gov

We know headlines can be scary. Nothing has changed—the Affordable Care Act STILL protects all LGBTQ people from discrimination in health insurance and health care.

A healthcare cross with a rainbow pride flag background and a transgender pride ribbon

New Marketplace/HealthCare.gov application questions are confidential and optional.

The new sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) questions asked at HealthCare.gov will not be shared with states, insurers, or third parties. Your answers to these questions cannot and will not effect your care, as protected by The Affordable Care Act. These questions are optional and have free text boxes for you to write in the identity that fits you best.

The deadline for Jan. 1st coverage is Dec. 15th.

While the marketplace remains open until January 15th (this year it’s actually January 16th because of the federal holiday on January 15th), for coverage to begin on January 1, folks need to enroll by December 15th. If you enroll between December 16 and January 16, your coverage will not begin until February 1st. 

Health plans are affordable—and financial help is available.

In case this hasn’t been posted about enough: Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, quality health coverage continues to be even more affordable and accessible for the third year in a row. 4 in 5 HealthCare.gov customers are able to find health coverage for $10 or less per month with financial help, and more people will qualify for financial assistance this year. HealthCare.gov is already reporting a 20% increase in enrollments from last year.

HealthCare.gov offers the most comprehensive coverage, including preventive care, check-ups, prescriptions, mental health care, birth control, and more.

Comprehensive coverage opens the door to for you to be able to take care of yourself and live a better life. If you’re feeling apprehensive about signing up for coverage, it might help to think of all the care, therapy, and medications you will have access to.

Be wary of any other non-government website offering you a health insurance. In Michigan, HealthCare.gov is the only Affordable Care Act government health insurance marketplace website. Other websites are privately owned and will sell you insurance through agents or brokers who may add on fees or sell you plans based on their best interests and not yours.

You can get FREE in-person LGBTQ-friendly help to enroll in health insurance.

People are twice as likely to enroll with in-person help. Washtenaw Health Project is here to help you and answer your questions. Our staff are certified Marketplace Application Counselors/Navigators/Assisters. Our assistance is free and unbiased. We can help you find the best plan for you and connect you to financial assistance or other health-promoting services you may qualify for along the way.

If you have questions but you’re not ready to make an appointment, email us at whp@washtenaw.org or send us a message!

We are certified by Out2Enroll as LBGTQ-friendly (read their standards here). You can find other free local help using Out2Enroll’s LGBTQ-Friendly Assister Locator tool. Put in your zip code into their locator widget. Names marked with a rainbow flag are certified by Out2Enroll as LBGTQ-friendly! See a preview of the locator tool below.

Washtenaw Health Plan…hey, that’s us! (We changed our organization name from Washtenaw Health Plan to Washtenaw Health Project this year).

LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in health care and health insurance.

We know the headlines can be scary, but LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in health insurance, at the hospital or clinic, and with our doctors. Nothing has changed—the Affordable Care Act STILL protects all LGBTQ people from discrimination in health insurance and health care. You should never face health discrimination simply for being who you are. You should always be treated with respect and dignity in health care.

Transgender people can expect good health insurance coverage.

The Affordable Care Act protects trans folks from discrimination in healthcare or health insurance. This means NO discriminatory trans exclusions for care. When you enroll at HealthCare.gov, all gender-affirming health care should be covered.

However, some plans don’t explicitly say what gender-affirming care they will cover.

In Michigan, Marketplace silver plans provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Molina, and Oscar explicitly cover medically necessary gender-affirming care if you meet plan-specific requirements. No plans explicitly exclude all gender-affirming care. Some do not provide all of their information about gender-affirming care, and United Healthcare explicitly excludes some. Read more on Out2Enroll’s Transgender Health Insurance Guide to the Marketplace – Michigan 2024. If any of this is confusing, please reach out to us for help.

Make sure the care you want to have in 2024 is included in your coverage.

If there’s a specific network, doctor, therapist, or medication you want help paying for by your health insurance next year, start by making a list of those names. What kinds of insurance does your doctor or therapist accept? If you want specialty care, what insurance do they accept? When you find a plan that includes their accepted insurance, make sure that it covers your medications or (a generic version) at a rate you can afford each month.

Health insurance is complicated. We’ve got you covered. Find a plan at HealthCare.gov or contact us for help! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates. Follow Out2Enroll on Instagram and Facebook for in-depth LGBTQ health coverage information and resources.


Information provided by Out2Enroll, a national initiative to connect LBGTQ people and their families, friends, and allies to health coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act.

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