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Blue Cross doesnt cover HIV
Nov 23, 2005

I live in Toronto. I recently have been looking for a health insurance to cover my HIV costs, and was turned down by Blue Cross. They mentioned that they require applicants to take an HIV test and if it is positive they are deferred. In addition, the gentleman told me he didnt know of a single insurance company that would cover HIV/Aids as it is a very expensive liability and forever going. I thought you said Blue Cross covered this? Is this because I am in Canada? Are there no other options? How will i pay for my medication???? PLEASE HELP ME! GOD BLESS

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I may have misunderstood the original questioner's question. He asked, "Are these treatments covered by traditional health insurance like Blue Cross/Blue Shield?" I thought he was asking if his traditional health insurance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (already in place), would cover HAART if he needed it. In this case, the answer is yes. All traditional insurance companies cover HIV disease, including the cost of medications. However, if he was asking about trying to sign up for an insurance plan after having been diagnosed HIV positive, that's a different situation. Private insurance can exclude "preexisting conditions" from coverage. If this is the case, he would need to rely on State- and Federal-assistance programs. My understanding is that Canada has a type of socialized medical program that provides universal coverage (including HIV) to all Canadian citizens. Check with your local AIDS service organizations (there are several in Toronto) and they will provide you with the specifics of the Canadian programs available. Here in the US, we are not as socially aware or morally astute. There are 40 million uninsured Americans and the State and Federal funds dedicated to providing HIV care and medication are shamefully inadequate (despite billions in tax cuts for the wealthy and billions more for Bush's disastrous war in Iraq). As a result, there are many HIV-positive folks on waiting lists for ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program), waiting and waiting as there T-cells and health quietly slip away.

Dr. Bob



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