Who can help me if I experience discrimination when applying for or enrolling in coverage?

Health reform includes new nondiscrimination protections – and they’re extensive. First, nobody who works with the Marketplaces, including employees and insurance companies offering plans for sale, is allowed to discriminate against LGBT people. Second, insurers can’t treat you differently or charge you more if you have a condition such as HIV, cancer, or any other preexisting condition. Third, insurers can’t offer plans with benefits that discriminate based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or health condition.

We all need to pitch in to make sure that these protections are being honored and applied in every state. If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly when trying to apply for or enroll in coverage, you can make a complaint directly to your Marketplace by calling the help line. For states who run their own Marketplace (shown in dark blue in the map below), the contact number is available on the Marketplace website (which you can find through our “Get Covered” tool). For states where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is running the Marketplace (shown in medium and light blue), the 24-hour help line at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325) takes both requests for assistance and complaints. For more information about the help line, check out healthcare.gov.

In any state, you can also make a complaint to your state’s insurance department or with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.