A new report says Wisconsin's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community faced a variety of barriers to signing up for health care under the Affordable Care Act.
Signing up for insurance during the Affordable Care Act's open-enrollment period earlier this year was frustrating and confusing for many, but according to a report released on Thursday by advocacy groups, the LGBT community faced a lot of unique challenges.
Jason Rae, the executive director of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, said he attended a briefing on the report this week at the White House.
"There's a whole bunch of barriers that the LGBT community can face when it comes to the Affordable Care Act," Rae said. "So, yesterday's briefing was really to kind of update us on the lessons that they've learned around the enrollment and how best to talk about it as we go forward."
Rae said those challenges included getting answers to questions regarding treatment of legally married same-sex couples and enrollment eligibility for individuals with HIV.
During the enrollment period, Wisconsin was one of only 11 states to host an event that trained local advocacy organizations how to answer these ACA questions for members of the LGBT community. Wisconsin was chosen for the event because it lacks a state insurance marketplace.
Andrew Cray, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, one of the organizations behind the study, said that engagement with the LGBT community was crucial in certain states.
"We knew that in, particularly in states with federally-facilitated marketplaces, the engagement of local LGBT and health consumer advocacy organizations was going to be very important," he said.
LGBT-specific enrollment numbers for Wisconsin aren't currently available, but officials with the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin said they registered around 720 individuals.