- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

“Obamacare” has some special benefits just for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

And the promotion of these benefits comes to coincide with President Obama’s declaration of June as LGBT Pride Month, the Washington Examiner reported.

“For too long,” she said, in the Examiner report, “[they] were pushed to the side.”

But the health law takes them under wing and ends lifetime coverage caps — a particular boost to HIV and AIDS patients, who frequently need costly medicines, she said. LGBT members are often more at-risk for mental health problems, she added, and have higher tobacco use rates, the Examiner reported.

Among the special benefits for LGBT members: Insurers can’t impose lifetime dollar limits on insurance coverage. And starting in 2014, insurers can’t deny coverage or charge higher costs for pre-existing conditions for LGBT members. Insurers also will have to cover screening and tests for HIV-related services — including contraception and treatment for depression, the Examiner reported.

“Like all Americans, LGBT Americans deserve respectful health care providers and the security of accessible, affordable health care that meets their needs,” Ms. Sebelius said, in a statement. “As we observe LGBT Pride Month, I am pleased to say that the [HHS] continues working hard to make this a reality for the LGBT community.”

SEE ALSO: Irreconcilable differences: Conflicting marriage laws a problem for gay couples

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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