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LGBTQ Americans twice as likely to experience discrimination in health care: Poll

A new survey found that LGBTQ Americans are twice as likely to experience discrimination in their health care.

The survey, conducted by KFF, noted that members of the LGBTQ community have historically faced disparities while receiving health care, including challenges to accessing mental and physical health care.

“LGBT adults are also twice as likely as non-LGBT adults to report negative experiences while receiving health care in the last three years, including being treated unfairly or with disrespect,” the report found.

Thirty-three percent of LGBTQ adults reported negative experiences while receiving health care in the previous three years, compared to 15 percent of non-LGBTQ adults.

LGBTQ adults were also twice as likely to report a health care provider would assume something about them, suggest they were personally to blame for a health problem, ignore requests or questions or refuse to prescribe needed pain medication. Sixty-one percent of LGBTQ adults reported experiencing this treatment, compared to 31 percent of non-LGBTQ adults.

KFF found that adults of color reported discrimination at higher rates than white patients, but among LGBTQ adults “these experiences appear to cut across racial and ethnic groups.”

Twenty-four percent of LGBTQ adults say their negative health care experience caused their health to get worse, compared to nine percent of non-LGBTQ adults.

Six in 10 LGBTQ adults say they prepare to be insulted by health care providers and say they feel the need to be careful about their appearance in order to be treated fairly while seeking care.

The survey found that LGBTQ Americans are more likely to say their mental health is “fair” or “poor” and say experiencing discrimination makes their mental health worse.

Nearly 70 percent of LGBTQ Americans who said their mental health was “fair” or “poor” also reported going without mental health services, despite needing those services, at least once in the prior three years.

The report comes as several states target LGBTQ rights. Nearly half of transgender people in the U.S. have considered moving to another state because anti-trans legislation in their home state threatens to end gender-affirming health care, access to public restrooms and the ability to play school sports, a separate survey found.

The KFF survey was conducted June 6 – Aug. 14, 2023 among 6,292 adults across multiple languages.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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