3Center or American Progress | FAQ: Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data
Te primary developers o sexual orienaion and gender ideniy quesions haveincluded he Sexual Minoriy Research eam, or SMAR, group a he WilliamsInsiue—a naional sexual orienaion and gender ideniy law and policy hink ank ahe UCLA School o Law—and he Ceners or Disease Conrol and Prevenion.
TeNaional Cener or Healh Saisics is also developing a sexual orienaion measure ha will be added o he Naional Healh Inerview Survey in 2013.
Tough he adminis-raive and populaion survey daa collecion conexs are dieren, here is subsanialoverlap in research exploring how bes o collec sexual orienaion and gender ideniy daa under various circumsances.
Is it legal to ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity?
Yes. Federal regulaions clariy ha he Aordable Care Ac permis exchanges o col-lec any demographic daa using opional quesions.
Refecing his sandard, boh heproposed single sreamlined applicaion and Small Business Healh Opions Program,or SHOP, Exchange employee/employer applicaions developed by he Ceners orMedicare and Medicaid Services include opional daa elemens or race and ehniciy inormaion.
Daa elemens on sexual orienaion and gender ideniy can similarly beincluded as opional quesions on exchange applicaions.
Will people answer questions about this sort of sensitive information?
Yes. As wih quesions on race, ehniciy, and primary language, respondens may beuncomorable sharing personal inormaion due o concerns abou privacy or poenialdiscriminaion. Acceped pracice, however, refecs he recogniion ha he useulnesso race, ehniciy, and language daa jusies he inclusion o hese opional quesions onenrollmen orms and or healh plan qualiy and perormance measures. Sexual oriena-ion and gender ideniy daa are no dieren.Moreover, while some individuals will reuse o answer quesions hey consider oo per-sonal, research has shown ha survey respondens are wice as likely o reuse o answerquesions abou income as abou sexual orienaion.
Oher research has demonsraedha including sexual orienaion and gender ideniy quesions does no cause respon-dens o reuse o coninue he survey.
For exchange applicans who are eiher unamiliar wih hese quesions or unsure how o respond, navigaors—eniies ha will assis consumers wih enrolling in coveragehrough he exchanges—and oher consumer-assisance personnel should be appropri-aely rained o alleviae conusion and help individuals proceed hrough he applicaionprocess wih minimal diculy.