Health Disparities

Health Disparities



The LGBTQ+ population has made great strides when it comes to securing equal rights. However, health disparities are pervasive across the LGBT community. LGBT elders experience health disparities across four general areas: access to health care and health insurance, societal biases that impact well-being, mental health, and chronic physical conditions. Additionally, extra taxation on retiree health insurance benefits means that many LGBTQ+ elders simply cannot afford to receive retiree health insurance. This is troublesome given that LGBTQ+ older adults face a wide range of physical health disparities that are often unaddressed by healthcare providers.


The following statistics highlight some of the health disparities in the LGBTQ+ community.  (Source: Center for American Progress, How to Close the LGBT Health Disparities Gap, 2009).


Barriers to care:

  • LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to delay or not seek medical care
  • Lesbian and bisexual women are less likely to receive mammograms
  • LGB adults are more likely to delay or not get needed prescription medicine
  • LGB adults are more likely to receive health care services in emergency rooms


Physical and mental health concerns:

  • LGB adults are more likely to experience psychological distress
  • LGB adults are more likely to need medication for emotional health issues
  • Transgender adults are much more likely to have suicidal ideation
  • LGB adults are more likely to have problems with alcohol abuse
  • LGB adults are more likely to smoke cigarettes.


Overall health:

  • Heterosexual adults are more likely to report having excellent or very good overall health
  • LGB adults are more likely to have cancer


Chosen Family understands the importance of addressing health disparities facing the LGBTQ+ population and is working to close these gaps in the community. We are working internally to educate, train, and support our team members. And we’re working externally to support our patients and partner providers towards progress.

Learn More About the Health Challenges and Needs of LGBTQ+ Older Adults