2/2/2015 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator
ST. PAUL, Minn.-According to soon-to-be-released research conducted by Rainbow Health Initiative, the percentage of uninsured LGBTQ people has decreased since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but the number of uninsured LGBTQ consumers remains higher than non-LGBTQ consumers. In 2014, 12 percent of LGBTQ Minnesotans in RHI's sample reported not having any kind of insurance coverage. By contrast, only 5 percent of Minnesotans as a whole lack health coverage.
In an effort to address this disparity, MNsure and community leaders are hosting an enrollment event staffed by MNsure assisters familiar with the needs of the LGBTQ community. The event, coordinated by Minnesota AIDS Project and Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, is in partnership with Rainbow Health Initiative and Family Tree Clinic.
"February 15 is the deadline for Minnesotans to obtain private health coverage, and events like this one make enrollment possible in a welcoming environment," said CEO Scott Leitz. "We are proud to partner with organizations who are part of the LGBTQ community and who have the expertise needed to make the process easier."
Free, in-person help from MNsure assisters will be available from 5 - 7 p.m. Bryant Lake Bowl also will be offering drink specials for anyone who can show they are already covered, anyone who gets enrolled during the event, or anyone who makes an appointment with a MNsure assister for a future date. The event is open to all Minnesotans who need help enrolling through MNsure.
"Many members of the LGBTQ community experience disproportionate health risks and poor health outcomes due to lack of access and for some, distrust of health care providers' ability to understand their health concerns," said Linda Ewing, interim director of Minnesota AIDS Project. "Minnesota AIDS Project, in partnership with OutFront Minnesota, Rainbow Health Initiative, the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition and Rural AIDS Action Network, is working to reduce these barriers through provider education, outreach and awareness and through health care enrollment events like this one."
"It's an important conversation, and it's one we're glad to be a part of," explained Kim Bartmann, Bryant Lake Bowl owner. "If attendees can relax - enjoy a drink or throw a game - while navigating the enrollment process, then all the better. We are proud to provide the space."
MNsure Enrollment at Bryant Lake Bowl
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 5 - 7 p.m.
810 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis
For more information about LGBTQ health data, Rainbow Health Initiative will host a data release event on February 16, 3 - 5 p.m., at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul. Contact Rainbow Health Initiative for more information.
Open enrollment for 2015 coverage began November 15, 2014, and ends February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage - the highest percentage in state history.