The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increases access to health insurance and quality health care in the United States. The law makes getting health insurance easier, bans discriminatory practices based on pre-existing medical conditions (including HIV), and provides incentives to increase health care quality while lowering costs. It is the largest and most comprehensive change to our health care system in over 50 years.
AIDS United continues to shape ongoing implementation of the ACA at the federal and state level, particularly to ensure that all states expand their Medicaid programs, that health insurance is affordable, that it fully covers people living with HIV and is integrated with the Ryan White Program as the payer of last resort. We seek to ensure that health insurance plans are accessible to people living with HIV and limit high cost-sharing (such as co-insurance, co-pays) and that plans do not discriminate by requiring placing high cost HIV medications on expensive specialty tiers. Fortunately, the law has already created many positive changes, including the expansion of Medicaid in a majority of states, the creation of health insurance exchanges to make it easier to buy affordable coverage, and eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for preventive care for health insurance consumers. However, ACA implementation is not uniform across states, which can create or exacerbate health disparities.
AIDS United urges all states and the U.S. to realize the full potential of the ACA as one key to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic and supports full implementation in all states.
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