Infographic: How New Coverage Options Affect LGBT Communities

See also: Connecting with Coverage: 4 Things LGBT People Need to Know About the Health Insurance Marketplaces by Kellan Baker

According to the most recent estimates, there are at least 9 million LGBT people living in all corners of the United States,[1] including more than 646,000 same-sex couples.[2] Though LGBT communities are diverse in terms of factors such as race, income, and geography, LGBT people from all backgrounds continue to face common experiences of discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination in fundamental areas of everyday life such as education, family recognition, employment, and health care contributes to poverty for many LGBT people and their families, as well as gaps in access to health insurance coverage and health care.[3]

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act presents an unprecedented opportunity to address these concerns by helping LGBT people and their families get the coverage and care they need. Under the Affordable Care Act, LGBT people who were not previously able to afford health insurance will be able to apply for Medicaid or shop in a Health Insurance Marketplace for quality health insurance coverage that fits their budget.

As this infographic shows, a significant number of LGBT people will be eligible to gain coverage through the Marketplaces or Medicaid, but opportunities for new coverage options are not evenly distributed across the country. In order to ensure that the benefits of health reform reach LGBT people no matter where they live, every state should expand its Medicaid program, and federal and state policymakers building the Health Insurance Marketplaces in every state should ensure that Marketplace policies and programs appropriately reach and serve LGBT communities.

Kellan Baker is Associate Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. Andrew Cray is a Policy Analyst for LGBT Progress at the Center. Gary J. Gates is the Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.


[1] Gary J. Gates, “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?” (Los Angeles: The Williams Institute, 2011), available at

[2] Daphne Lofquist and others, “Households and Families: 2010” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012), available at

[3] Jaime M. Grant, Lisa A. Mottet, and Justin Tanis, “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” (Washington: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality, 2011), available at; Gary J. Gates, “LGBT Parenting in the United States” (Los Angeles: The Williams Institute, 2013), available at; Institute of Medicine, “The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding” (2011), available at