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Moving BACK to the USA
Aug 23, 2013

I'm an American citizen currently living in Europe. I was diagnosed over here four years ago. I am on treatment and have had a great response to the Atripla. I am wondering what I may face when I move back to the States with regards to my insurance and treatment. I get the sense from the internet that I will be able to get insurance to cover my treatment but the picture doesn't seem very clear with what kind of premium I will be paying. Some say I can go broke simply keeping up with the payments. Others say that regardless of 'Obamacare' I may have difficulty getting any insurance at all. I dont want to be a medical exile and hope to get some clarity so I can begin to make the best choices as to staying here or coming home. Thanks Thomas

Response from Mr. Chambers

At present, the U.S. is a bad place to be when you have no health insurance and a chronic medical condition. In almost all states, you cannot currently purchase an individual health insurance policy if you have HIV. In those few states that do allow it, New York is the main one, the prices are outrageous.

First, you should check the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) in the state you are moving to. Depending on your income and the state, they may be able to provide your medications at little or no cost.

I don't know who you talked to about Obamacare, but beginning January 1, 2014, insurers of private health insurance cannot refuse you coverage or increase your rates based on a medical condition. You will be able to purchase health insurance through an exchange, and the rates are only affected by your age, your location, and the plan you purchase, although some states will surcharge cigarette smokers.

Start with the federal exchange, . It will be able to guide you. Enrollment in these plans starts October 1, 2014 for effective dates of January 1, 2014.

BE CAREFUL OF PHANTOM SITES. There are many scams out there trying to look like Obamacare/Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Good luck, Jacques

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