Healthline News: Insurers Accused of Keeping HIV Medications Out of Patients’ Reach

Healthline News: Insurers Accused of Keeping HIV Medications Out of Patients’ Reach

HIV/AIDS advocates in Florida, Illinois, and Louisiana are pushing back against what they say is insurance company discrimination.

By David Heitz

Advocates for people with HIV in Illinois and Florida confronted health insurance companies this week in an effort to make sure people living with the disease continue to have affordable access to antiretroviral drugs.

The AIDS Institute and National Health Law Program (NHLP) filed a complaint Thursday with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They allege that insurers CoventryOne, Cigna, Humana, and Preferred Medical are violating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, and federal civil rights laws. The complaint claims that these companies have designed insurance plans that make it so difficult for people with HIV/AIDS to obtain their medications that they opt not to sign up.

It’s an end-run, HIV activists say, around Obamacare’s stipulation that insurers cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Florida complaint says that an analysis by the AIDS Institute shows the insurers required expensive co-insurance or co-pays, prior authorizations, high up-front costs, and limits on the amount of medication a patient could obtain at one time. Read the full article here. »


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