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I don't know what to do
Apr 14, 2010

Hi,

I have been positive for about 6 years and have been on meds (Kaletra, Epzicom)ever since I was diagnosed. I recently lost my job and insurance coverage...so I went on COBRA. In the struggle to keep up with my overwhelming amount of financial responsibilities I let my COBRA coverage lapse recently. I know this was very stupid of me but believe it or not it wasn't intentional (I thought I was paid up but I was not). I am starting a new job through a temp agency and health benefits are not available. Are there any programs available to help? Is it possible to get individual health coverage with my condition?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Yours is yet another example why we needed health care reform. It's frankly immoral that a person with HIV or any other pre-existing condition cannot purchase health insurance. Anyone who can't appreciate that fact is either brain dead or has absolutely no moral fiber or compassion.

I don't know from where you are writing, but I would suggest you contact your local AIDS service organizations. They may have a benefits counselor or link to AIDS legal services (pro boon legal help) to try to get your COBRA reinstated (if it only "lapsed recently"). They could also possibly help hook you up with some state and federal assistance programs that might offer some services in the interim.

As Obama's health plan is rolled out, yes, you will be able to purchase insurance.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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