We’re less likely to have LGBT health insurance, employment: report
As if the LGBT community doesn’t have to face health barriers under the Trump administration, a recent report noted how less likely we would be employed or have LGBT health insurance.
The report, which was published in the online journal BMJ Open, also noted that sexual minorities would more likely report being in poorer health and having a lower quality of life as compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
Bias targeting LGBT health insurance, employment
According to the authors who did the study, the difference between the sexual minorities and their straight peers might be due to bias against the former.
“Previous research has shown that nearly half of all sexual minorities experience employment discrimination in their lifetime,” said lead author Brittany Charlton, an assistant professor at Harvard University’s TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
Charlton said this can lead to disparities in health insurance coverage, and ultimately to health-related quality of life.
“Our findings highlight the ubiquity of sexual orientation inequalities in the employment and healthcare systems,” she added.
“Until all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are treated equally in the eyes of the law, including with non-discrimination laws protecting employment as well as housing, public accommodations, and credit/ lending, sexual orientation-related disparities will persist,” she pointed out.
Long range study for respondents
Prior research had already noted the same results that same-sex couples reported of being more likely to be out of work and uninsured as compared to straight couples, but the researchers wanted to broaden their sample.
This particular study was based on responses of nearly 10,000 participants with ages ranging from 18 to 32 years old.
This is an ongoing study that first started in 1996, when the first group enrolled was 9-14 years old. A second group aged 9-16 years old was enrolled in 2004.
The respondents were questioned about their lifestyle, health, environment, and sexual identify and orientation in yearly surveys.
They were also asked about health-related quality of life, as well as their mobility, self-care, capacity for routine activities, and levels of pain, discomfort, anxiety, and depression.
Assessment on LGBT health insurance, employment
From the results of their 2013 follow-up survey, the researchers noted that both male and female sexual minorities were overall about twice as likely to have been unemployed/ uninsured over the prior year vis-a-vis their straight peers.
Of the entire group, the researchers reported that 7.5 were unemployed or not working because of illness or disability.
However, gay men were almost 50 percent more likely to be unemployed because of illness or disability.
Meanwhile, gay women were tagged at 84 percent more likely to be unemployed while bisexual women were nearly four times likely to be uninsured as compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
Charlton said in an email: “Most of the study participants were white and their families had middle-to-high household incomes. It is striking that these sexual orientation disparities are pervasive among participants who predominantly hold high social status.”
“Given this high social status we may have underestimated levels of unemployment, being uninsured, and having poor health-related quality of life,” she warned.