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About to get tested in Rhode Island/Can I Get Coverage?
Feb 24, 2003

I'm about to get tested for the first time in seven years, out of a general concern for my health. Unfortunately, I'm 25, work at a low-wage job and do not have health insurance. I know that certain states have laws regarding denial of health coverage people with HIV, but I can't find anywhere that has a comprehensive list of what those states are. Is Rhode Island one of them? If not, should I wait until I am in grad school (in the fall) to get tested so I can avoid the problems of not being able to get insurance? The prospect of delaying the test frightens me, but the idea of discovering I was HIV positive and then not being able to afford/be covered for good treatment frightens me even more.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Please go ahead and get tested now. No matter what your state of residence, any insurance company considering your application for individual insurance is going to test you anyway, so you might as well know the answer in advance. Your best approach to coverage is seeking a job with a group insurance plan, or obtaining student coverage when you become a grad student. Beyond that, I encourage you to contact your local AIDS service organization about insurance coverage in Rhode Island, since we can't stay current with changing laws in each state. I wish you well...and a good test outcome!



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