“While it is reassuring that OCR formally investigated our complaint, the harm to people living with HIV has been going on for years. This was blatant discriminatory plan design and the entities charged with enforcing ACA’s patient protections let Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina off with not even a slap on the wrist,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “This is further proof that insurers are allowed to get away with as much as they can. And even when they are caught, there is no penalty. For insurance to work for people living with HIV and all patients, we need better federal and state regulation, oversight, and enforcement.”
“Now that the court has struck down the rule that allowed insurers and PBMs not to count copay assistance and clarified that the previous rule—requiring copay assistance to count in most instances—is now in effect, we now must turn to enforcement to ensure patients are no longer being financially harmed by copay accumulators,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “We are already hearing from patients that insurers are still subjecting them to these unscrupulous and now, illegal practices, and we will ensure that any unlawful practices stop.”
“We are pleased that the government has withdrawn its appeal of our court victory for patients who struggle to afford their prescription drugs and rely on copay assistance,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “Now, insurers must heed the court ruling by ending their cruel policy of collecting copay assistance and not applying it to patients’ cost-sharing obligations.”
Patient groups, after successfully challenging the U.S. government’s rule allowing insurers to not count prescription drug copay assistance towards patient cost-sharing, filed a brief yesterday explaining why the government must enforce the Court ruling. Additionally, the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, Diabetes Leadership Council, Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, and three impacted patients filed their own appeal of the U.S. District Court ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.