Ohio LGBT Leaders Urge Community to #GetCovered Before Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

January 28, 2015

COLUMBUS, OH – Today, Get Covered America held a conference call with LGBT leaders from across the state to discuss what the upcoming enrollment deadline means for Ohio’s LGBT community. February 15 is the final deadline to get coverage during the second enrollment period, and those who do not enroll may have to wait for the next enrollment period to get coverage.

Get Covered America was joined on the call by LGBT leaders Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach, Columbus Public Health LGBTQ Health Advocate Dwayne Steward, and Stonewall Columbus Program Director and Certified Application Counselor Lori Gum to outline the benefits and protections for the LGBT community under the Affordable Care Act.

“According to a Gallup poll, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults are more likely to be uninsured than the population as a whole,” said Get Covered America Ohio State Director Trey Daly. “That’s why we have been focusing much of our outreach efforts to LGBT Ohioans this enrollment period and are happy to be bringing together LGBT leaders from across the state to help more Ohioans get covered ahead of the final February 15 deadline.”

Upcoming events include an ACA Education and Enrollment Event for the LGBT community at Columbus Public Health on January 29 from 5:30pm-8:00pm (240 Parsons Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43215) and working with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland to provide free, unbiased enrollment assistance at their office (6600 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102).

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans have better access to quality, affordable health coverage, but under the law there are specific new benefits and protections for the LGBT community,” said Councilman Seelbach. “These include not being denied coverage because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; not being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition; and legally married couples being able to receive financial assistance as a married couple on the Health Insurance Marketplace even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.”

On the call, Columbus Public Health’s Steward and Stonewall Columbus’ Gum announced that they would be partnering with Get Covered America to host the LGBT Education and Enrollment Event January 29.

“The Affordable Care Act gives LGBT Ohioans the opportunity to have better access to affordable care and live healthier lives,” said Steward. “Having insurance can help protect you from the high cost of health care and can help you access more preventative care like screenings and wellness check ups, to help identify problems early when they may be easier to treat.”

Studies by Get Covered America show that in-person enrollment assistance is critical to helping uninsured Americans enroll in quality, affordable health insurance. In fact, an applicant was more than twice as likely to successfully enroll with the help of an enrollment expert as compared to someone who tried to enrollment by themselves. In response, Get Covered America has worked with partners across Ohio to expand access to these resources, including among the LGBT community.

“It’s great news that thousands of Ohioans have already secured quality, affordable health coverage, but we know there is still a lot of work to do,” added Gum. “That’s why we’re encouraging all Ohioans to get covered ahead of the final February 15 Marketplace deadline.”

Free, unbiased enrollment assistance is available in communities throughout Ohio, and you can find where you can get local help and schedule an appointment by visiting the Get Covered Connector at https://connector.getcoveredamerica.org/widget/ or calling 1-800-648-1176.

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