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Study: LGBT Americans report less access to health care
From a press release
2014-08-26

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Gallup today released a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates, Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, showing that LGBT adults are more likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to lack health insurance coverage ( 17.6% v. 13.2%, respectively ).

Study author Gates notes, "The findings in this study are consistent with several recent studies showing that economic disadvantages are common in an LGBT community that too often experiences stigma and discrimination. These disadvantages are likely an important factor in explaining why LGBT Americans report less access to health care and many negative health and well-being outcomes compared to their non-LGBT counterparts."

The study considered change in healthcare coverage in the last quarter of 2013 and second quarter of 2014, which roughly represent the periods before and after open enrollment associated with Affordable Care Act ( ACA ), known as Obamacare. Since the fourth quarter of 2013, the percentage of uninsured LGBT adults fell 4.4 percentage points, compared to a 3.5 point drop among non-LGBT Americans.

Gates concludes, "These data suggest that LGBT adults benefited from the increased access to health care insurance created by the ACA. But gaps in coverage between LGBT and non-LGBT adults persist. Increasing data collection efforts that include measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity along with health and well-being outcomes is vital to efforts that seek to understand why health disparities persist and how they can be alleviated."

The analyses are based on more than 6,000 interviews with LGBT adults ( aged 18 and older ) and more than 166,000 interviews with non-LGBT adults conducted from June 2013 to June 2014 as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey. These Gallup data represent the largest survey of health and well-being that allows for identification of LGBT respondents.

Other important findings from the new study include:

More than a quarter of LGBT adults ( 25% ) reported that they had a time in the last year when they did not have enough money to pay for healthcare or medicines for themselves or their families. This compares to 17% of non-LGBT adults.

LGBT adults, particularly LGBT women, are more likely than non-LGBT individuals to report that they do not have a personal doctor. Among all adults, 29% of LGBT individuals did not have doctor compared to 21% of non-LGBT individuals. Among women, the gap was 29% for LGBT and 16% for non-LGBT. The difference in men was not significant.

The full report is available at www.gallup.com/poll/175445/lgbt-likely-non-lgbt-uninsured.aspx .

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates its work through a variety of education programs and media to judges, legislators, lawyers, other policy makers, and the public. For more information go towww.williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu .


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