HIV Prevention

Insurer responds to HIV discrimination complaint by lowering patient costs for drugs

Months after the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network filed discrimination complaints against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for placing almost all HIV drugs on the highest drug tiers, the insurer has released a new mid-year drug formulary that leaves not a single HIV drug on the highest and most costly drug tiers. Instead of 48 HIV drugs, including many generics, on Tiers 5 and 6, there are now none.  As a result, depending on the plan, patients will be paying more reasonable and affordable costs.

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USPSTF updates PrEP recommendation to include long-acting PrEP to prevent HIV

“The ACA recognized the value of preventive services to individual health, public health, and reducing healthcare costs. They also help identify conditions early on when more can be done to treat them or prevent disease acquisition altogether. Insurers are simply not doing a good job of making it easy for consumers to utilize them and regulators must take action to ensure access to these mandated life-saving services,” said Carl Schmid, Executive Director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and a Consumer Representative to the NAIC.

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Senate appropriators maintain funding for domestic HIV programs

“While disappointed that Congress will not be providing the necessary funding to really end HIV or hepatitis in the United States, given the severe budget constraints, what the Senate has proposed will allow existing programs to at least continue,” Carl Schmid said. “However, it is up to the entire Congress, both the House and the Senate, to be responsible and agree upon our federal spending levels. The choices are very clear.”

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House proposes to gut ending HIV programs

“While we appreciate the sustained funding for many domestic HIV and hepatitis programs, we are devastated by the proposal to virtually eliminate the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “We were on a trajectory to end HIV by ensuring all people have access to care and treatment, and prevent new infections through increasing access to PrEP, but now all those efforts will be lost. This bill cannot stand as is.”

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Medicare proposes coverage of all forms of PrEP

In response to CMS’ draft National Coverage Determination
(NCD) issued today that would require all Medicare plans to cover, without beneficiary cost-sharing, all forms of PrEP to prevent HIV, including long-acting PrEP, Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute issued the following statement: “Today’s announcement marks a huge step in ensuring Medicare beneficiaries who want to protect themselves against HIV by using either daily oral or long-acting PrEP can do so without cost-sharing. As people are living longer and remain sexually active, it is important that anyone who has a reason to be on PrEP can access it.”

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