Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans often face many challenges and barriers to achieving a healthy life. While LGBTQ individuals have many of the same concerns as the general population, like affordability, access, and quality of care, they also face several unique challenges that affect the ability to live healthy and affirmed lives. Lack of understanding, discrimination, stigma, violence, higher rates of health problems, as well as other barriers, can compound and produce worse health outcomes. One Colorado works to address these issues through policy and advocacy, community engagement and improving data collection and research on the experiences of LGBTQ Coloradans accessing health care.

Data and Research

Overall, there is little data on the health of LGBTQ Coloradans and our experiences with the health care system. One Colorado has released four groundbreaking reports on LGBTQ Health in Colorado:

Closing the Gap: The Turning Point for LGBTQ Health (2018)
Transparent: The State of Transgender health in Colorado (2014)
Becoming Visible: Working with Colorado Physicians to improve LGBT Health (2013)
Invisible: The State of LGBT Health in Colorado (2011)

HIV Prevention Medications Guides

Your Health Care Rights

Private Insurance Plans Sold in Colorado* Can Not:

  • Consider being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer a pre-existing condition.
  • Decide what is medically necessary for you. That is a decision between you and your medical provider.
  • Deny transgender Coloradans services that are offered to cisgender (non-transgender) Coloradans.
  • Discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

*If your health plan ID card has a “CO-DOI” designation on it, your plan is subject to Colorado’s insurance laws and rules.

Learn more about the Division of Insurance (DOI) bulletin that prohibits discrimination in Colorado health plans at in our blog post here.

Get Covered by Health Insurance

Why should LGBTQ people get covered?

  1. You may qualify for financial assistance.
  2. You can no longer be discriminated against as an LGBT person.
  3. Same-sex spouses have equal access to family coverage.
  4. Every health care plan covers core essential health benefits like routine check-ups and preventative care.
  5. You may have to pay a fine if you don’t have insurance.
Private Insurance:

Open enrollment for 2022 begins on November 1, 2021 and ends on January 15, 2022. Sign up by December 15th for coverage that starts January 1 2022. If you need insurance outside of the standard enrollment period, you may qualify for a special enrollment period, depending on your situation. You can find more information at Connect for Health Colorado. You can check out One Colorado’s 2022 Health Insurance Buyer’s Guides to see how various insurance plans sold on Colorado’s marketplace covered gender-affirming care, hormone therapy, and prescription drugs for HIV treatment and prevention.

Are you seeking insurance coverage for transition-related care or a person living with HIV that needs specific prescription drug coverage? We’ve got some resources that will help find the insurance carrier that’s right for you.

2022 Transgender Health Insurance Buyer’s Guide
2022 Hormone Therapy Prescription Coverage Guide
• 2022 PrEP and HIV Prescription Coverage Guide

The open enrollment period in Colorado is November 1, 2021-January 15, 2022.

If you have a “life-changing event,” you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). A 60-day period outside the regular open enrollment period when an individual and their family have a right to sign up for health insurance. SEPs can be used to newly enroll in the marketplace, or to switch to a different plan. Learn more to see if you qualify.


For lower-income individuals and families (individuals with monthly incomes under $1,305 and families of four under $2,688), Medicaid has ongoing enrollment. To determine if you qualify, click here.

Applying for Medicaid as a same-sex couple: Couples who are legally married in Colorado should apply as one household and identify themselves as being married. Same-sex couples that were married out-of-state in a state that has marriage equality will be recognized as a married couple in Colorado for purposes of applying for Medicaid.

Need more information? Learn how the Affordable Care Act has impacted the lives of LGBTQ Coloradans:

Transgender Health
LGBTQ Health

More Resources Recommended by One Colorado

Out2Enroll has information specifically for the LGBT community about the Affordable Care Act

The Top Ten Things Health Reform Does for Gay and Transgender Americans

The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Americans

The Affordable Care Act and HIV/AIDS (from HIV.gov)

Connect for Health Colorado

Colorado’s Medicaid Program

Have more questions about LGBT Health in Colorado? Email health@one-colorado.org