Navigating Friday Health Plans as a Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community
At Friday Health Plans, we strive to serve all communities to the best of our ability. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and other identities), you may feel that navigating your health insurance and care can be a little intimidating. We’ve created a place for you to reference navigating your plan as a Friday member.
Finding a Primary Care Physician You’re Comfortable with:
While most states have protections in place to keep you from discrimination, making sure you find a doctor you’re comfortable with is key to having a good health treatment experience.
Step one: find a doctor. Use the Friday Provider Search tool. You can also use the GLMA (Health Professionals Advocating for LGBTQIA+ Equality)’s Provider Search. Leverage your community: ask around if you have friends in the Friday network or ask in an identity specific Facebook group if they’ve had positive experiences with certain doctors. Once you’ve found a doctor, it’s a good idea to read the doctor’s bio. In order to do this, you can search them directly on Google or visit their webpage. By doing this, you can gauge their friendliness towards your identity and get a feel for their personality. You can also read reviews about them.
Step two: contact them to ask questions. It’s important to note that you don’t have to do this if you aren’t comfortable. During your conversation, be sure to pay attention to things like active listening and their willingness to be open even if they aren’t totally educated. Ask them for digital patient forms and pay attention to things like gender markers and places to self-disclose identities.
Questions to ask:
Do you have experience treating patients of my (identity)?
Do you have resources to reach out to if you haven’t treated someone of my identity before?
Can you connect me with specialists who are educated?
How can I take an active role in ensuring my health, considering my identity?
Does your facility have gender-neutral bathrooms?
Do any LGBTQIA employees work on staff?
When it comes down to it, picking your doctor is the same as it is for anyone else. You just may have specific health concerns that differ. The best thing you can do is educate and arm yourself, trust your instincts, and remember that it’s always alright to start over by looking into another doctor.
Check out the following resources from the CDC based on your identity:
Now that you’ve selected your doctor, it’s time to visit and take care of your health. It’s essential to keep in mind that you don’t have to disclose things about your identity. However, doing so can help your doctor treat you better!
Sexual Health and Preventative Health:
As a Friday Member, you have access to great STI and other coverage. This includes free preventative STI screenings, $0 birth control, and free cancer screenings. Learn more about what’s covered and details here. LGBTQIA+ sexual health resources and education can also be found here.
Taking preventative measures for your health is important. When disclosing your identity, be sure to ask your doctor about options.
Learn about going on PrEP here. These are preventative antiviral drugs for HIV/AIDS.
If you are a transgender individual who is preparing for or have gone through transition, it’s important to remember that there are still risks associated with things like breast and prostate tissues that you should check for. View our guide to getting gender affirming care here.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about your doctor’s visits, you can take a friend/partner. Having a good support network is always helpful, whether it be friends, family, or significant other(s). If you don’t have that, there are hundreds of support groups on Facebook and online.
Taking care of your mental health is also important when it comes to taking care of your health. Know that we’ve got your mental health covered at Friday Health Plans.
Many Friday plans offer unlimited mental health counseling visits at $0 (all Silver, Gold, and Some Bronze plans). Find a therapist near you. All Friday members can also use Teledoc for $0 counseling sessions 24/7 by phone or video if they are over 18 years old.
Please note that $0 visits are for counseling only and do not extend to other mental health services like in-patient stays and visits where medications are prescribed. This means these costs will go towards your deductible. However, we cover many generic brands of prescriptions! Search here to see what is covered in your Friday health plan.
Be sure to double-check your coverage on your member portal before you make appointments.
Knowing Your Rights:
Under the Biden administration, rights and protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals are in place.
Under the Affordable Care Act, “the provision in Section 1557 that prevents health care providers and insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities." Friday Health Plans adheres to all ACA policies. If you feel we have not met these standards, you can file a grievance with Chief Compliance Officer, 700 Main Street, Alamosa, CO 81101; 1-888-533-3696 (TTY: 1-800-326-6868); email@example.com.
Bostock v. Clayton County, last year's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court found that LGBTQIA+ people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banning discrimination based on sex.
It’s always best to check your state’s law and ensure you read non-discrimination policies based on the provider(s) you choose.
As always, if you have any questions about your plan, services, or benefits, please reach out to the Friday Care Crew at our contact page.