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Insurance for poz immigrant to USA
Jun 7, 2012

I'm intending to try and emigrate to the USA to be with my new partner. Where can I get an overview of how health insurance and health services work for people with HIV in USA? Can you direct me to some information about what my options are? I'm 50, poz for 5 years; on meds and undetectable for 2 years and apart from a few hiccups (viral meningitis twice) I've been doing well. I would need to access my current meds (Kivexa and Etravirine) and regular check-ups/general medical.

Response from Mr. Chambers

That's a tough question because health insurance is generally regulated by each state. However, generally individual health insurance requires a medical review and, again generally, HIV+ people will not be approved for coverage.

Employer provided health insurance cannot refuse you coverage because of your medical condition and must except you, although many plans will make you wait six to twelve months before they will cover a medical charge related to a "pre-existing condition" like HIV. However, that can be waived if you are coming from coverage and get the new coverage within 63 days of losing the old coverage.

Finally, under the new Affordable Healthcare Act, each state has set up programs called Pre-Existing Conditions Health Insurance (PCIP). You are eligible for that if you have not had health insurance coverage in the past six months and you have a condition that would cause you to be denied by regular health insurance (like HIV). You can learn more about these plans at this site. site.

There are also public clinics in most metropolitan areas, although they are generally very crowded.

Good luck, Jacques

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