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Health & Social Work






health insurance, healthcare access, policy, poverty, transgender


This study examines past-year unmet healthcare need due to cost experienced by transgender and gender-expansive (TGE) adults in the United States in the context of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also aims to estimate the importance of having health insurance among TGE Americans (transgender men, transgender women, nonbinary/genderqueer people, and cross-dressers). Data were from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (N ¼ 19,157 adults, aged 25 to 64 years). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine the adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) of TGE individuals’ past-year unmet healthcare need due to cost. Although the majority (86.8 percent) reported seeing a doctor or healthcare provider in the past year, 32.1 percent reported past-year unmet healthcare need due to cost. One in six respondents (17.1 percent) was uninsured and almost one-third (29.8 percent) were at/ near poverty. The prevalence of unmet healthcare need was greater among the uninsured (65.1 percent) than among the insured (25.2 percent). Compared with transgender women, nonbinary/genderqueer people (AOR ¼ 1.31, 95% CI [1.18, 1.46]) and transgender men (AOR ¼ 1.30, 95% CI [1.18, 1.42]) had greater odds of unmet healthcare need due to cost. Social workers can lobby to fully enact the ACA by underscoring affordability and availability as important dimensions of healthcare access for TGE populations. KEY WORDS: health



Available for download on Thursday, November 16, 2023