The Affordable Care Act offers unprecedented opportunities to improve the health & economic security of millions of Americans including our LGBT communities. However the first open enrollment period showed that these opportunities might not be fully realized if outreach & enrollment efforts do not effectively engage LGBT people & their families. A new report from the Out2Enroll campaign a collaborative LGBT outreach & enrollment initiative takes a look into LGBT-oriented community engagement efforts over the first open enrollment period. The report assesses promising practices, identifies remaining concerns & offers concrete recommendations to help the marketplaces & other stakeholders effectively connect LGBT people with their new coverage options. Kellan Baker, Associate Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress & an Out2Enroll steering committee member stated, “With one in three low & middle-income LGBT people uninsured before the launch of open enrollment in 2013, the ACAs efforts to close the coverage gap are an incredible opportunity to improve the health & financial security of millions of LGBT Americans. This report identifies many promising outreach and enrollment practices but also underscores the need for more targeted efforts to make sure that the benefits of the law reach everyone who needs them, including LGBT people.” The report’s specific recommendations include; outreach & enrollment efforts in every state should explicitly include LGBT communities, LGBT-specific cultural-competency training should be provided for outreach & enrollment personnel & voluntary demographic information on sexual orientation & gender identity should be collected through health insurance marketplace applications.
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