Report: LGBT Missourians tend to be less healthy, have less access to care

Aug 28, 2012

Reporting from Jacob McCleland of KRCU used in this report.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Missourians have less access to healthcare and tend to be less healthy than the general population. That’s according to a new report by the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The report finds LGBT individuals are less likely to seek preventative care, have higher rates of unhealthy behaviors like smoking, and are more likely to be physically assaulted at school.

The LGBT community has a higher uninsured rate compared to their heterosexual peers, according to the Missouri Foundation for Health’s Ryan Barker.

“We know that in the general population, maybe one spouse is working, one spouse stays at home," Barker said. "And that working spouse can often put their husband or wife on their insurance. And that option doesn’t exist for the LGBT populations in most instances.”

Barker says this disparity is tied to discrimination. The report suggests the state adopt housing and employment discrimination protection, and employers should be required to offer domestic partner insurance coverage.

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