Prevalence of Private and Public Health Insurance among Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults

Jae Downing, Kendall A. Lawley, Alex McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about how health insurance payer types differ between transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people and cisgender people. Much of what is known about insurance coverage among TGD adults has been based on research from claims and electronic health record data, which excludes individuals who have not accessed gender-affirming care. Research designed to understand how TGD populations pay for health care to best inform care interventions and public insurance policies is lacking. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine differences in the prevalence of public and private health insurance between transgender and cisgender adults. Methods: Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, this study estimated prevalence of health insurance coverage among TGD and cisgender adults residing in 22 states that administered the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity module and the Healthcare Access module from 2014 to 2019. This study estimated the odds of health insurance coverage (no insurance, private insurance, public insurance) among cisgender adults compared with TGD adults. Results: TGD people had greater odds of being uninsured compared with cisgender women. Among nondisabled, nonelderly respondents, TGD adults had lower odds of having private insurance and higher odds of public insurance compared with cisgender men. Among respondents who were likely Medicaid-eligible, TGD respondents had lower odds of having public insurance and higher odds of being uninsured compared with cisgender women. Conclusion: These findings provide foundational information about the payer mix among TGD people and provide insight into barriers to health insurance that TGD adults may face.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-315
Number of pages5
JournalMedical care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Medicaid
  • health services for transgender persons
  • insurance
  • sexual and gender minorities
  • transgender persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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