Key Lessons for LGBT Outreach and Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act

The initial open enrollment period offered significant opportunities to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) consumers, but the visibility and effectiveness of these efforts varied significantly by state. According to a new report from Out2Enroll, a nationwide campaign dedicated to connecting LGBT people with their coverage options, variation largely resulted from the level of formal marketplace commitment to LGBT inclusion and the extent to which LGBT community and allied organizations were able to participate in the health reform effort.

The report found that effective efforts to reach LGBT communities included:

  • Development of LGBT-specific messaging and education materials;
  • Targeted efforts to engage LGBT people via outreach and enrollment events; and
  • A consistent presence at LGBT community venues.

Some state-based marketplaces, for example, clearly identified LGBT communities as an underserved population, engaged LGBT organizations in conducting outreach and enrollment, and included LGBT families in marketplace advertisements. In states with a federal marketplace, some state assister coalitions directly included LGBT organizations, and others made specific efforts to engage trusted LGBT organizations to promote outreach and enrollment.

This article was originally published in Out2Enroll.