Georgia: Wait Grows for HIV/AIDS Help
July 13, 2011
More than 1,600 Georgians are on the waiting list for help from the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Among the 13 states with such a list, Georgia's list is second in length only to Florida's.
Enrolling all the patients currently on the list would take an additional $17 million. Lacking those funds, Georgia is launching a pilot program to transition patients to the federal government's program, created as part of the health insurance overhaul, to help persons with pre-existing conditions buy insurance.
However, that program's yearly cap for out-of-pocket expenses is almost $6,000, an excessive amount for someone living at or below the poverty level, said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. Dr. Anil Mangla, director of infectious disease and immunization at the state Division of Public Health, said Georgia will pay premiums and deductibles under the pilot program. Other efforts include using drug-assistance funds to assist Medicare Part D clients with out-of-pocket costs, and using generic drugs.
Robert MacLean was enrolled in South Carolina's ADAP but had to start from scratch when he moved to Georgia, traveling to various offices to secure the required documentation. He has applied to ADAP but has not been informed whether he is officially on the waiting list. Meanwhile, he has been off his medications since April. "My body's breaking down now," he said.
07.04.2011; Misty Williams
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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