United Healthcare is one of the biggest medical insurance companies in the nation, but one of their recent exchanges with a gay man could have some far-reaching consequences. In a report by LGBTQ Nation, the health insurance giant has recently denied covering a medication for a man, citing his sexual orientation, or rather his “homosexual behavior,” as a reason to deny the man coverage for the medication he needs.
Now to be fair, there are many conservative pundits that might come out in defense of United Healthcare in this particular situation because the medication that was denied to the man was Truvada, which is a drug that prevents people from contracting HIV infection from their partners or by other means of transmission. They might say that a person’s LGBTQ lifestyle choice does not constitute an obligation for a health insurance company like United Healthcare to pay for them to maintain that LGBTQ lifestyle.
To some degree, that may be the truth. But in this case, Truvada is provided for other patients within the United Healthcare market that are at high risk for HIV contraction. In effect, a rejection letter was sent to a homosexual man denying his coverage due to “high risk homosexual behavior.” Although it may be shocking that United Healthcare would come right out and say it on the rejection letter, this may not come as a surprise to members of the LGBTQ community who have been dealing with situations like this for years now.
— (((Will Hayworth))) (@_wsh) July 31, 2017
The redacted picture that was retweeted on James Krellenstein’s Twitter wall is a little hard to make out, but it clearly does show that the wording is present in the letter. But this leads to yet another question: what can be done about this — if anything at all?
Furthermore, United Healthcare also stated that the criteria to meet for coverage of the medication Truvada is “to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection in adults at high risk,” but it did not include LGTBQ adults in this particular situation.
United Healthcare denies gay man medication due to ‘high risk homosexual behavior’ https://t.co/rBFuijWGAr
— LGBTQ Nation (@lgbtqnation) August 3, 2017
There are some protections in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that help people obtain and utilize their medical coverage, but most of those are for things like pre-existing conditions, equal coverage for females with no skyrocketing premiums, etc. But it might be a long road for the LGBTQ community to fight such situations like this after interpretation of the law gives it a broader perspective in what health insurance companies like United Healthcare are required to cover.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]