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Health Insurance for HIV+ Students
Jul 21, 2009

I am a junior in college and am looking to attend grad school or medical school after I graduate. One of my biggest worries, and possible limiting factor, is obtaining health insurance that will cover me while in school. Because I won't be able to work while in school and because I will have a very limited budget (words cannot describe how limited), I need to know what my options are before I pursue further education. I know that there are plans that the school provides, but after looking at their policies, they don't cover the astronomically high cost of HIV disease. My main concern is having a drug plan that covers my drug costs. Are there any programs out there that help students with limited incomes cover the cost of HIV treatment?

Response from Dr. McGowan

As you mentioned you should look into the health insurance policies offered by the schools.

In addition to that the Ryan White Care Act provides the states with funds to support primary care visits and HIV medications through ADAP (the AIDS Drug Assistance Program). The depth of the programs vary state to state but would be a great support for low income people and students.

In addition the pharmaceutical companies offer support programs for low income individuals. These often require a bit of paperwork but may be worthwhile if you are eligible. Of course the program you would need would depend on what you and your doctor choose for your treatment.

I do not believe you will have to put aside your plans for education because of HIV.

Best, Joe



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