Happy Pride Month! As we all know, the month of June is a celebration of LGBTQ lives around the world. In the last sixty years, progress has been made for LGBTQ rights in this country, but even today, the LGBTQ community experiences health disparities. For example, LGBTQ people are more susceptible to the health impacts of COVID-19. Experts at Better Health Advisors are committed to supporting healthy lives by providing custom health planning services for people of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
Effects of COVID-19
Why has the LGBTQ communitiy been disproportionately affected by COVID-19? According to the Human Rights Campaign's COVID-19 statement, millions of LGBTQ people work in industries with increased potential for virus exposure and economic fallout. Specifically, 15% of the LGBTQ community works in restaurants and food services, 14% work in K-12 and higher education, 7.5% work in hospitals, and 4% work in retail. Right now, it is crucial to have health insurance to be able to seek care. Unfortunately, 17% of LGBTQ adults lack health insurance, and 1 in 10 LGBTQ individuals are unemployed, which affects access to healthcare services. Given the existing health disparities, COVID-19 will continue to challenge the LGBTQ community. These are not just statistics—they reflect the struggles of real people experiencing unprecedented conditions. COVID-19 is not over. We encourage everyone to be mindful and continue to take precautions.
Promoting LGBTQ Health
BHA recognizes that LGBTQ patients have unique healthcare needs. Our custom strategies to address these unique healthcare needs include:
- Ensuring access to skilled, culturally-competent providers who understand LGBTQ patient needs and are able to provide the appropriate care.
- Acknowledging the patient’s sexual orientation and gender identity to enhance patient-provider interactions, enable clear communication, and help develop an ongoing relationship.
- Treating the patient holistically given the higher prevalence of mental health issues among LGBTQ patients.
In honor of Pride Month, BHA wishes to highlight a few trusted organizations that provide important LGBTQ resources and services:
- The Human Rights Campaign is a DC-based organization and the largest civil rights organization advocating for LGBTQ equality. The HRC utilizes the Healthcare Equality Index to evaluate healthcare facilities and to ensure inclusive practices for LGBTQ patients, visitors, and employees.
- The Trevor Project provides mental health services to LGBTQ youth with locations in West Hollywood and New York City. A key resource for youth is the Trevor Lifeline, which provides 24/7 access to trained counselors by phone, chat, and text.
- GLMA, which is now known as Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, advocates for public policies to reduce LGBTQ health disparities nationwide. GLMA focuses many of their efforts on HIV/AIDS and provides resources to healthcare patients and healthcare providers.
- GLAAD is a nonprofit organization headquartered in LA that harnesses the power of the media to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
For decades, CEO John Samuels and the BHA team have supported the rights of LGBTQ individuals by connecting LGBTQ patients to highly trained doctors and hospitals, increasing access to health insurance coverage, and ensuring that all individuals are treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Better Health Advisors is well prepared to guide patients through challenging non-COVID19 and COVID-19 healthcare decisions, and BHA’s extensive network of providers are well suited to treat the unique healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community. As always, we are here for you.