A recent national study by Harris Interactive®,a global leader in custom market research, has revealed that almost one in four gay and lesbian adults do not have health insurance and are almost two times as likely as their heterosexual equivalents to have zero health insurance coverage.
Figures from the survey showed that 22% of the gay and lesbian individuals asked stated they had no health insurance, a shock in comparison to the 12% of heterosexuals who were also questioned.
This nationwide poll involved 2,710 American adults aged 18 plus, out of which 343 stated themselves as gay or lesbian (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults) and took place between the dates of April 7th and April 15th, 2008, via a website, alongside the company Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc, who are the nations top rated marketing communications and consulting firm, who specialize in reaching the gay and lesbian consumer market.
“We know the problem of the uninsured has reached crisis proportions in this country and, unfortunately, this survey shows that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community is today at greater risk. What GLBT households and all Americans deserve and need is affordable access to quality health care that results in positive outcomes and facilitates prevention, wellness and chronic care coordination,” said Peter Francel CEBS, Head of Sales-Product Group for Aetna. “We must step up all efforts to serve the uninsured and take the lead in transforming our health care system for not only our GLBT members but all those who are not covered by health insurance today,” he added
He also mentioned that Aetna’s GLBT policy of having a friendly working environment have led to the company obtaining a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index since 2002.
The people question were asked what variables would effect their decision as to which particular health insurers they would choose to go with. Nearly exactly the same amount of gay and lesbian adults stated that it was likely to have a profound effect if the health insurance company gave domestic partner health coverage for companies to whom they supply health insurance (85%) and to their own employees (84%).
79% of gay and lesbian adults indicated that if they saw a printed advertisement for a health insurance company which was specifically aimed at people of the gay community, with images of gay or lesbian people and relevant information about insurance products , this would definitely effect the chance of them considering going with that company.
If things such as price, accessibility and standard were not needed to be taken into account, almost 8 out of 10, 78%, gay and lesbian consumers would be most likely to choose an insurance provider or plan aimed at the GLBT community, with 67% stating that they would be most likely to consider a health insurer with agents they knew to be openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
“Studies consistently show that gay and lesbian consumers are far more likely to focus their spending on companies that sensitively and specifically reach out to them,” said Colleen Dermody, Vice President of Witeck-Combs Communications. “GLBT consumers place a high value on brands, including health insurance companies, that earn and grow respect within the community. GLBT consumers are among the most motivated to ‘vote’ with their dollars and to seek out brands they believe to be very friendly and supportive of the GLBT community.”