Recent Court Ruling Means Equal Access to Health Care for Florida’s LGBT Families

January 14, 2015

Newly-married LGBT Floridians now qualify for coverage, financial help under their spouse’s Marketplace plan

MIAMI – Existing provisions under the Affordable Care Act actively protect the LGBT community from discrimination and higher premiums based on sexual orientation or gender identity when obtaining health coverage. Now, with same-sex marriage legalized in the state of Florida, thousands of newly-married LGBT Floridians could get covered under the same Marketplace plan as their spouse or jointly enroll in a new family plan.

This new ruling will help reduce health coverage disparities among the LGBT community in Florida who are more likely to be uninsured and often face unique challenges in accessing health care. Trained in-person assisters are available locally throughout Florida to answer questions and walk newly-married couples and consumers through the enrollment process. Consumers can visit connector.getcoveredamerica.org to schedule an appointment with an in-person assister in their community. All Floridians have until Feb. 15 to enroll in a coverage plan for themselves and their families.

Here’s the top five things newly-married LGBT couples in Florida need to know:

  1. Insurance companies that offer health coverage to opposite-sex spouses must offer the same coverage to same-sex spouses. Florida has four new Marketplace insurers this year, offering families more options than ever to find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
  2. You can’t be charged a higher premium just because you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The average monthly premium in Florida in 2014 for a consumer receiving financial help was only $68.
  3. Plans purchased through the Marketplace cannot discriminate against you or your spouse based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  4. Legally married same-sex couples are treated equally when applying for tax credits or financial assistance when purchasing coverage in the Marketplace. Ninety-four percent of Floridians who applied for coverage between Nov. 15, 2014 and Dec. 15, 2014 qualified for financial help to lower the cost of premiums.
  5. You can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS, heart disease or any other condition.

 

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