We know that 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.  The following resources help explain a patient’s rights and protections when accessing health care and benefits, information to know when working with a medical or behavioral health provider, and various community resources.

Know Your Federal Rights:

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) offers resources to explain up-to-date rights and protections for transgender people. While organizations like One Colorado and NCTE work to strengthen and expand legal protections, there are steps you can take if you face discrimination today in every state and in almost every area of life. Each resource includes how to file complaints of discrimination or mistreatment and how to find legal help. Topic areas include airport security, health care, housing, and homeless shelters, social security, health care, and protections for survivors of violence, among others. Please note that these are an explanation of federal protections, and Colorado-specific protections may vary or be stronger. If you have questions, please reach out to info@one-colorado.org.

Know Your Colorado Rights

The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, passed in 2008, created the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The Director and the staff of the Division receive, investigates, and make determinations on charges alleging unfair or discriminatory practices in violation of the Act. If you feel like you have been wrongfully denied, you may file an appeal here.

Your Rights in Health Care

  • Gender-Affirming Care Covered by Medicare:
    • Medicare is one of the country’s most important health programs, providing health insurance for tens of millions of adults over 65 and people with disabilities. As with private insurance, transgender people sometimes encounter confusion about what is covered or barriers to accessing coverage—both for medically-necessary, transition-related care and for routine preventive care. The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) offers information and resources about the type of care covered based on different types of Medicare plans, how to appeal a denial, how to change a gender marker with Medicare, and other resources for transgender people covered by Medicare.

Patient Educational Resources

Transformative Freedom Fund: The Transformative Freedom Fund provides financial support for transition-related care to trans* folks in Colorado. The application cycle is open January-April every year and funding decisions are made by mid-June for each funding cycle.

Healthcare Resources

  • Health Insurance Buyers Guides: Each year, One Colorado releases health insurance guides so that transgender Coloradans and people living with HIV can make informed decisions about which insurance companies provide them with coverage that meets their needs. You can find information here about how plans on Connect for Health Colorado covers gender affirming care, hormone therapy, and coverage for PrEP and HIV medications.
  • Colorado Name Change Project: The Colorado Name Change Project can help you find information and forms on how to update your name and gender marker in the state of Colorado. Its goal is to help you better understand and navigate the process of changing your name and/or your gender marker.  It has automated the forms needed for an Adult and Minor Name Changes in Colorado and is working on form packages for your Gender Marker Change.
  • Transformative Freedom Fund: The Transformative Freedom Fund provides financial support for transition-related care to trans* folks in Colorado. The application cycle is open January-April every year and funding decisions are made by mid-June for each funding cycle.