Resources for Veterans, LGBTQ+ People, and Other Special Groups
Coping with a chronic health condition can be challenging for you, your family, and your caregivers. You rely on your healthcare team to manage your condition. However, there are other resources that also offer support, education, and even financial help. They include special health programs and services for military veterans, LGBTQ+ people, and other people facing healthcare challenges.
Health resources for veterans
US military veterans have access to healthcare through the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers health checkups with doctors and nurses. You can also book an appointment with experts like mental health and heart doctors.1
The VA also has other programs to help veterans and their families maintain healthy minds and bodies. These programs include:2
- Blind rehab: Support for blind or low-vision veterans and their families
- Caregiver: Support and services for those who take care of veterans
- Chaplain: Meeting the spiritual needs of veterans
- Compensated work therapy (CWT):Promotes work opportunities for veterans with physical and mental health challenges
- Dental care: Dental benefits for qualified veterans
- Disease prevention: Services to stop diseases, such as screening tests and vaccinations
- Older adult care: Services for older veterans, including home-based and nursing home care
- Mental health: Education, healthcare, social services, and research to support mental health
- Prescriptions: Online drug refills
- Rural health: Health services and programs for veterans living in rural areas
- Smoking cessation: Resources and tools to help people stop smoking
- Substance abuse: Programs to address alcohol and drug misuse
- Telehealth: Connecting veterans to healthcare through technology in hospitals and clinics, as well as at home
- Weight management: Supporting healthy eating and exercise
- Women veterans healthcare: Addressing the healthcare needs of women veterans
Health resources for members of the LGBTQ+ community
Many groups and programs focus on improving healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community. These include:3-6
- Healthcare Equality Index: The Healthcare Equality Report from the Human Rights Campaign rates the policies and practices of more than 1,700 US healthcare centers. The report looks at the fairness and inclusion related to LGBTQ+ people, visitors, and employees.
- Healthcare coverage options: Insurance companies must offer health coverage to same-sex spouses if they also provide it to opposite-sex spouses. Same-sex spouses are also entitled to tax credits and lower out-of-pocket costs on private insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act. In most cases, you will need to file a joint federal tax return to get these savings.
- LGBTQ+ health and well-being: The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wants to make sure that the LGBTQ+ community has equal access to health services. Resources include better training for HHS staff and healthcare providers, programs for youth and their families, anti-bullying efforts, access to HIV care, and aging services.
- National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center: The mission of this nonprofit is to advance and improve health equity, access to cost-effective healthcare, and quality of life for LGBTQ+ people.
- LGBTQ+ mental health and abuse hotlines: Anonymous and confidential peer support hotlines are available to the LGBTQ+ community. Supporting mental health and well-being are priorities for these hotlines. The hotlines include LGBT National Youth Talkline, LGBT National Help Center, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Resources for other groups
There are many more resources for people facing healthcare challenges.
The Patient Advocate Foundation helps to remove barriers to healthcare. It offers services like copay relief and financial aid. The foundation’s National Financial Resource Directory also connects people with medical conditions to other assistance programs and groups.7,8
In the cancer community, the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) has a free database of financial and other services for people with cancer. And you can search for cancer support programs in your area through the American Cancer Society.9,10
Many health foundations and nonprofits focused on diseases offer legal help for people who face discrimination due to their health conditions. The American Bar Association, National Disability Rights Network, law schools, and legal aid societies also help connect people with lawyers experienced in health-related legal issues.
For more information and help, check out:
Managing Healthcare Expenses
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)