Laura Colbert credits her two dogs, Mud and Ginger, with helping her maintain her own health and work-life balance in the face of numerous pressing priorities.
Treylin Cooley, GHF Health Insurance Navigator
During this PRIDE month, GHF is highlighting the importance of ALL people receiving proper health care and specifically highlighting the importance of the LGBTQIA+ community receiving adequate and unbiased care. Equitable access to health care for all is a right, not a privilege, and this right must be protected and enforced. Marketplace insurance was created to address those specific needs of Americans.
Historically, the LGBTQIA+ community has faced many barriers with access to health care being one of them. Why has this been a challenge, you may ask. To begin, many health care providers and lawmakers are unaware of the unique medical needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. This has been one of the biggest reasons that proper health care has not been taken more seriously and then causes someone to shy away from seeking care. However, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I was fortunate enough to locate a provider who has done the work, created safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, and offered individualized care. That was a breath of fresh air for me and I was once again excited about my health care. I was able to speak with providers who understood the social determinants of health, and I was able to talk to my provider about my specific needs in a comfortable space.
Our community has unique health care needs; from needing specialized care for individuals living the trans experience to those needing to be prescribed the correct antiretroviral medications in order to continue to thrive with HIV. In addition, the myths and stereotypes that have been associated with the community have been major factors in molding the thoughts and opinions of both health care providers and lawmakers. This limited the innovative approaches that health care providers and lawmakers could implement to address those unique health care needs. However, marketplace insurance has been paramount in changing how many services are rendered. It has prevented individuals from being denied health insurance for having pre-existing conditions, prevented policies from getting canceled based on an individual’s age and limited the maximum amount of out-of-pocket costs an individual can be charged, as well as other protections. Marketplace insurance made me hopeful again that I could receive adequate and affordable health care.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I take my health care very seriously. As a result, during the time I was uninsured, I chose to enroll in Marketplace insurance. This was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I was, indeed, skeptical at first. However, the navigator who assisted me was very knowledgeable, patient, and walked me through the entire process. Even when I was enrolling, one of my biggest fears was being able to afford the insurance. My health insurance navigator quickly helped calm those fears. I qualified for the premium tax credits, and I was able to get an affordable monthly premium. In addition, I was able to enroll in a program that assisted with the cost of the premium payment as well.
During this PRIDE month, let us be intentional about championing for equitable health care. Everyone deserves to thrive. I take PRIDE in my health, and Marketplace insurance is the reason. Sign up today so that you, too, can Protect Your Peach.