In 2013, I helped co-found Out2Enroll, a national initiative to connect LGBTQ communities to healthcare coverage options. We’ve been working with Forward Together for quite some time now to address a common goal of making healthcare more accessible for LGBTQ people. Out2Enroll partnered with Strong Families in the making of the Where to Start, What to Ask guide for choosing healthcare plans, and for the past six years we’ve offered this guide as a resource for LGBTQ folks who come to us seeking healthcare information.
Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been constantly changing since it became law in 2010, it has been important that we update the Where to Start, What to Ask guide often to ensure that people have up-to-date information on their coverage options. But, you know, with the Trump administration coming in, I don’t think we ended up changing a lot of the guide in the same ways. Instead we sort of revisited the guide as it was, but with an eye towards reassuring folks that they should still be protected from discrimination under the ACA, that not receiving that protection is illegal, and that there are ways to fight back when discrimination happens.
Even after all of these years, the guide is always well received by the community. That sort of stuff — consistency, trust, accessibility, and direct and helpful information — it’s all really important. Both the guide and our partnership with Forward Together have been useful to our base — but more than that, our efforts have also been an inspiration for other organizations in the movement. The National Center for Transgender Equality recently released a healthcare coverage guide. It’s a little bit different in that it’s more geared toward trans people, but it has a lot of the same elements.
Year after year, we continue to promote the Where to Start, What to Ask guide. Links to the guide are in quite a few places on our website. We often work it into our FAQs. Our website has a whole series of FAQs based on trans health or couples or stuff to help with HIV. Or you know, for young people. That kind of thing. And we try to sort of bake the guide into questions and answers where it makes sense, just so folks have that additional resource. We also promote it on social media.
We are honored to do this work with Forward Together on this much needed guide.