LGBT adults in the US are less likely to get health insurance that is required to be employed

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The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, found LGBT people are more likely to have poorer health and a lower quality of life in comparison to straight counterparts because they experience homophobia and discrimination. Researchers examined 10,000 survey responses from people aged 18—32 in the ongoing study that began more than 20 years ago, collecting information about sexuality, gender, lifestyle and environment of these people. Participants were asked whether they had been employed, uninsured and if they had received a routine physical health examination in the previous year. They were also asked to rate their self-care, levels of pain and discomfort, their mental health and the ways they cope their daily routine. In the group, 7.5 percent were unemployed or not working because of illness or disability and 38 percent lacked access to a routine physical health exam. Gay men were almost 50 percent more likely to be unemployed due to illness or disability, compared to 84 percent of lesbians. Bi women are 4 times less likely to be insured that straight females. The majority of participants were white and from relatively affluent families, so these disparities may be even wider, the researchers suggest. “These sexual-orientation disparities in employment and health insurance in a population with high social status highlight the ubiquity of sexual orientation inequities in the employment and healthcare systems,” the researchers noted. The study suggests legislation may hold the answer to improving healthcare and employment prospects for LGBT people.

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