One of the questions I get frequently is “how is the Affordable Care Act (the health care law of 2010) helping people living with HIV/AIDS?” The short answer is: in many ways. The detailed answer is more complex, but also much more exciting.
To provide a more comprehensive answer to this important inquiry, we recently worked with our colleagues in the HHS Office of Health Reform to update a fact sheet about how the Affordable Care Act is particularly important for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs), as well as other people living with serious medical conditions. The Affordable Care Act puts in place strong consumer protections, provides new coverage options and gives you the tools you need to make informed choices about your health. Among the ways the ACA is helping PLWHAs are the following:
- Ensuring that AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) benefits are now considered as contributions toward a Medicare beneficiary’s true Out of Pocket Spending Limit for drug coverage, a huge relief for low-income beneficiaries living with HIV and AIDS because it helps them move through the “donut hole” more quickly;
- Improving access to coverage and protecting people with HIV/AIDS now by making available a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in every state and making important insurance reforms to protect people from insurance company abuses;
- Offering quality coverage to every person with HIV/AIDS in 2014 and beyond via Medicaid expansion, additional insurance reforms, and closing the “Donut Hole;”
- Ensuring people have quality care, good insurance coverage, and the information they need to find it; and
- Increasing opportunities for health, well-being, and cultural competency.
As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius observed in her World AIDS Day statement last month, so many of our current HIV/AIDS efforts “build on a foundation laid by the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which dramatically expands access to coverage for people with HIV/AIDS. The law also bans the worst insurance abuses so that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with HIV and other conditions or cancel coverage when someone gets sick or makes an error on a form. Under the health care law, we’re also expanding Medicaid so that it will be available to many more Americans with HIV/AIDS, including single adults.”
Learn more details in the fact sheet (PDF 33KB) about what the health care law does to help people with HIV/AIDS.