To our LGBTQ Patient Family:
The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy Community Health) would like you to be aware of some changes the federal government is making in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as our response to these changes. On June 12th, the Trump Administration announced changes to its interpretation of Section 1557 of the ACA, which will remove certain federal nondiscrimination in health care protections for members of the LGBTQ community, and in particular, for transgender individuals.
As a leader in health equity and a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, please know that these federal changes will NOT change Kennedy Community Health’s commitment to providing equal access to health care services for LGBTQ individuals, including transgender individuals. With a proud legacy of supporting the LGBTQ community, Kennedy Community Health will remain steadfast in our mission to provide equitable health care to everyone no matter their race, age, ethnicity, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
– All LGBTQ individuals, including transgender individuals will continue to have access to quality care and service at Kennedy Community Health
– Kennedy Community Health will continue to provide a full-range of health care and behavioral health services to LGBTQ and transgender individuals, including gender affirming hormone therapy; for a full list visit https://www.kennedychc.org/services/lgbtinformation
– MassHealth will continue to provide all medically necessary MassHealth services to LGBTQ individuals who are MassHealth members, including transgender members
– LGBTQ members can access MassHealth covered benefits free from unlawful discrimination
– No matter what the Trump Administration says or does, the Health Care Rights Law is the law of the land; most courts have said it protects transgender people
– Only Congress has the power to change the law by repealing the ACA
– Many state laws prohibit discrimination in health care, and discrimination by the government violates the U.S. Constitution
If you have faced discrimination by a health care provider, insurance company, or another health program, reach out to an LGBTQ-friendly legal organization to get help exploring your options. While the National Center for Transgender Equality does not take clients or provide direct legal services, you can find contact information for organizations that do here.
Also, remember that many states have their own laws and regulations that protect transgender people from discrimination in health care and insurance coverage. If you face discrimination, you may be able to file a complaint with your state’s human rights agency or somewhere else— go to Know Your Rights for more information
If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-800-853-2288.
The Kennedy Community Health Team