Uninsured members and leaders of LGBT community attend Affordable Care Act town hall meeting

TULSA - When asked who is uninsured, a lot of hands went up at tonight's Affordable Care Act town hall meeting at the Equality Center in downtown Tulsa.

Among those with their hand raised, Michael Fairlie.

"My biggest concern is whether I'm going to be able to get covered being transgendered and going to school full-time," Fairlie said before tonight's meeting.

Michael, like many uninsured members of the LGBT community at the Equality Center Wednesday night, pays full price at the doctor's office. After a year of being uninsured, Michael says he is in need of insurance, requiring regular doctor appointments as a transgender individual.

"Once I started school, I stopped working, so that entire time I've been without it," Fairlie said."

The town hall speakers included national ACA experts from the White House and Out2Enroll. The speakers are traveling the country, speaking at town hall meetings before the ACA's March 31 enrollment deadline.

"Specifically for the LGBT community, of course, we want members of the community to know they can't be discriminated against when they're trying to get access to health care and against we want them to know it is affordable," Gautam Raghavan with the White House Office of Public Engagement said.

As a student, affordable is a key word to Michael, who had questions about financial assistance through the ACA, a topic speakers addressed. 

"I just recently tried to sign-up for it and being a full-time student, I don't work; I go to school," Fairlie said. "The cheapest thing they would give me was $143 a month."

A price tag Michael said he can't afford, but is hopeful after Wednesday's town hall he will know a way to get covered with some help.

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