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Folx Makes Health Care More Accessible for the Trans Community

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Finding good health care can be challenging, but for certain communities, including queer and trans people, it can be nearly impossible. Stigma, lack of training and insensitivity are rampant for these groups of people, and with something as important as health care, the effects can be mentally and physically devastating.

A new startup, Folx Health, is working to change all that through a personalized approach that matches trans and queer people seeking care with providers and services who understand their unique needs. Folx just raised $25 million in series A venture funding and is accepting patients now.

When a patient contacts Folx, they begin by filling out a complete online medical history. If their need requires a consultation with a health provider, they’ll be matched with someone for a virtual appointment by phone or video. Medication, labs and supplies are delivered to the patient’s door, according to the Folx Health website. One of the company’s foundational principles is “care on our terms,” which means no judgement, gatekeeping or having to explain yourself.

One 2015 study conducted with more than 27,000 transgender people found that 19% reported being refused medical care, 28% harassed by providers and 50% had to educate health care providers on transgender care. Twenty-eight percent of respondents also told researchers that they avoid going to the doctor altogether because of such treatment.

Folx founder and CEO A.G. Breitenstein told Fast Company that they’re on the verge of becoming a one-stop resource for members of the queer and trans community from information you might find in subreddit threads to clinical information from sources like the Mayo Clinic.

“We’re about to launch what we call ‘The Library,’ which is a set of resources,” Breitenstein said. “We’ll have a balance between really well clinically vetted information, but presented in a way that’s accessible and usable for folks.”

Current topics in The Library include sexual health, hormone treatment and company news. There are tips like how to overcome needle fears for self-injection, and explainers on hormone lab results.

In the future Folx is also preparing to expand services to include treatments for sexually transmitted infections, erectile dysfunction and lab samples taken at home.

Right now, users must pay a $59 monthly fee for access to the service, in addition to any treatment costs. Breitenstein said that they’re working to integrate with insurance companies so patients can take advantage of their health care plans. Folx is also working on creating a grant program for people who can’t afford the monthly subscription cost, according to Axios.

Folx service is currently available in 12 states, including New York, California and Florida. The company plans to expand nationwide by the end of 2021.

Header image Folx Health/Instagram

Originally published: February 3, 2021
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