Need to find a health insurance plan that offers coverage for same-sex partners? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that the Health Plan Finder tool on HealthCare.gov now allows consumers to filter for plans that offer such coverage. Consumers can also compare the cost sharing and benefit choices of various plans.
This is a useful new tool, and one more example of the steps HHS is taking to reduce health care disparities between the LGBT and general population. They have also called for more LGBT-inclusive data and research, and urged child welfare agencies to serve LGBT children and youth better, among other things.
As Kellan Baker of the Center for American Progress notes at the Health Insurance Resource Center, however, there is still room for improvement:
HealthCare.gov does not yet incorporate a filter allowing consumers and employers to search for plans that do not target transgender people with arbitrary and discriminatory coverage exclusions. Such exclusions, which specifically exclude coverage for services rendered to transgender people, are frequently interpreted to deny coverage to transgender people for a wide range of medically necessary health care services, including many that are routinely covered for non-transgender people.
Nevertheless, incorporating same-sex partner coverage is a step in the right direction. If you’re looking for insurance for your family or employees, check it out.