A statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
LGBT Health Awareness Week is an important time to bring attention to the unique health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and to highlight the progress we’ve made in our work to ensure LGBT Americans have the same rights and protections as other Americans, especially through implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
It’s critical for the LGBT community and all Americans to remember that Monday, March 31 is the last day of open enrollment and those who miss out can’t get covered through the Marketplace until 2015.
Access to affordable care has long been an obstacle to good health and financial security for the LGBT community and all Americans. On average, LGBT Americans suffer from higher rates of cancer, obesity, HIV/AIDS and mental illness than the rest of the nation. For those with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS, dollar caps on annual and lifetime coverage meant astronomical bills and debt for many in the community.
But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it is a new day. Lifetime and annual dollar caps are a thing of the past and no one can be denied coverage based on their health history.
Legally married couples are treated equally when it comes to coverage or financial assistance, no matter who they are married to. And, for the first time, Marketplace coverage is now affordable for the LGBT community and Americans all over the country.
Remember: Monday, March 31 is the last day of enrollment – that’s only five days left to get everyone covered who still needs it.
This Administration is committed to improving the health of all Americans, including LGBT Americans, and we look forward to continuing this work during LGBT Health Awareness Week and beyond.