SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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Health Reform

Health reform has dramatically improved health care coverage for LGBT older people by expanding coverage, strengthening consumer rights and protections, improving data collection efforts and a host of other benefits. LGBT older people face significant health disparities, aggravated by a lifetime of discrimination and higher economic insecurity, among other factors.

The Affordable Care Act—signed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2012—speaks to these challenges by reforming our health care system and making sure that no community is left behind. To ensure that the implementation of health reform directly benefits the needs of LGBT elders, SAGE's advocacy has focused on highlighting the unique challenges faced by LGBT elders and advocating for targeted supports for our aging communities, largely through our leadership role in the Diverse Elders Coalition.

Key Facts

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, effectively putting into place numerous reforms that improve health coverage for millions of Americans, including LGBT older people. The law strengthens consumer rights and protections, make coverage more affordable and improves access to care. And on June 28, 2012, the US Supreme Court upheld this important law.
Learn more about health reform.

The Affordable Care Act profoundly improves health care options for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including LGBT elders—from improving data collection on health disparities, to expanding public insurance coverage, to improving services for people with HIV/AIDS and much more. Read an overview from the Center for American Progress.

Older people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, too, benefit immensely from the changes made possible by the Affordable Care Act. Because of health care reform, older people will save money on prescription drugs, receive better preventive care, access doctors at home—and much more. Read an analysis from the National Senior Citizens Law Center.

SAGE’s Work

SAGE's advocacy efforts on health reform implementation. As part of the Diverse Elders Coalition, SAGE has advocated for the inclusion of LGBT elder issues in implementation of health care reform. In June 2011, the coalition successfully advised the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council—an entity established through health care reform—on its National Prevention Strategy to make it more inclusive of diverse older people. The coalition first submitted a research memo in early 2011 to the National Prevention Council that detailed the numerous health disparities facing elders of color and LGBT elders. A few months later, the coalition followed up with six precise recommendations. When the council released its National Prevention Strategy in June 2011, the coalition saw several of its recommendations integrated into the administration's large-scale, multi-year health plan, including various references to age, sexual orientation, cultural and linguistic competence, and the need to address health disparities—all of which made this preeminent document more responsive to elders of color and LGBT elders. Find out more about this coalition's history.

To learn more about health reform and LGBT elders, please contact Aaron Tax, Director of Federal Government Relations, at 212-741-2247 or

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