Folx Health, a Boston-based digital healthcare service launched in 2020 specializing in the physical and mental health needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, is accepting insurance, thanks to its status as an in-network healthcare provider.
The network incorporates regional and national health plans, including Blue Shield of California (BSC), opening the door for Folx to offer virtual primary care, gender-affirming care and mental health services to LGBTQIA+ individuals.
In addition to BSC, network partners include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), Optum mental and behavioral health services in Colorado and Florida, Cigna, and Cigna’s subsidiary Evernorth’s mental and behavioral health services in Florida.
In collaboration with the insurance plans, Folx offers individuals access to various services, including virtual primary care, one-on-one therapy and mental health medication management, all delivered by LGBTQIA+-specialized clinicians.
For current Folx members who are part of these insurance networks, this change in status means a reduction in their out-of-pocket expenses, eliminating the need to seek care outside of their benefits.
The company offers virtual primary care, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), PrEP, care navigation, content and community support through its queer and trans-specialized providers network.
“Blue Shield of California is committed to ensuring all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price,” Krishna Ramachandran, senior vice president of health transformation and provider adoption at Blue Shield of California, said in a statement.
“As the nation’s most populous state, with over 9% of our population identifying as LGBTQ+, our membership is asking for choice in their health care, and we are excited to expand our offerings with a holistic, virtual provider option for our members with Folx Health.”
THE LARGER TREND
Folx’s in-network status coincides with its recent membership model overhaul, which consists of an updated structure shifting from a lump sum subscription package to a monthly membership fee.
With the change, Folx members benefit from a more accessible cost structure – with or without insurance – paying only for the care they need, including gender-affirming care, sexual and reproductive health care and mental health care.
Last year, Folx scored $30 million in a Series B funding round and launched an enterprise tool allowing companies to offer its virtual primary care, hormone replacement therapy and PrEP to their workers. It also included support for parents of LGBTQIA+ youth and diversity, equity and inclusion training.
Another company offering LGBTQ+ digital health offerings is OutCare Health. Its president and cofounder, Dr. Dustin Nowaskie, recently spoke to HIMSS TV about the resources LGBTQ-focused care providers offer to people to decrease medical gaslighting and improve their overall healthcare journey.
In June, Pear Suite, a digital health company for community health workers, partnered with OutCare Health to expand LGBTQ+ care, utilizing Pear’s platform to empower employers, health plans and healthcare organizations to better address the community’s needs.