Published Date: May 23, 2020

Summary: This report describes characteristics of LGBT adults in California, a population of nearly 1.7 million, in relation to their vulnerability to illness and other health consequences stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. A separate report examines the vulnerability to economic disruption experienced by LGBT Californians due to efforts to contain COVID-19 (see related link below). Because the data were extracted from the 2015-2018 California Health Interview Survey, the information reported in this report does not reflect recent changes in health related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Findings include: 

In the four years covered by the survey, 361,000 LGBT adults in California had fair or poor health.

  • 134,000 did not have health insurance.
  • 231,000 had problems paying for their own or a family member’s medical bill.
  • 150,000 had delayed or forgone needed medical care because of cost, lack of insurance, or another insurance-related reason.
  • Many LGBT adult Californians had health conditions -- including asthma, diabetes, and heart disease -- which elevate their risk for serious illness from COVID-19.3 
  • Over 500,000 had a history of suicidal ideation.

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