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National News

Oregon Adds Restrictions to AIDS Program

August 12, 2002

In a recent letter to residents served by its AIDS drug program CAREAssist, the Oregon Department of Human Services outlined plans to cap enrollment and slice benefits. The plan offers insurance coverage for medicines as well as other health services, such as doctor visits. It is designed for people who make too much money to qualify for government health coverage, but too little to afford private health insurance. The program serves 769 residents and has a 32-person waiting list.

Oregon and at least 11 other states are rolling back their programs because demand for the drugs is rising and so are drug prices. Oregon is facing a $1.7 million shortfall in its $3.8 million program budget. To make up the money, officials said they transferred funds from other HIV programs and trimmed overhead. And they are limiting services.

The four main changes are:

  • Collecting monthly contributions from recipients: Charges will range from 2 percent to 7 percent of gross income -- or $17 to $168 per month, depending on a recipient's pay -- starting in December.
  • Lowering income eligibility for new recipients: Effective immediately, any single man or woman making more than $17,760 a year who applies for the program no longer qualifies. The previous limit was $28,795.
  • Capping program enrollment: Each year, Oregon will limit the number of people it serves. This year's limit is 825. If demand exceeds the cap, the sick go on a waiting list.
  • Reducing payments for non-drug co-pays and deductibles: The program used to pay up to $2,000 a year for doctor visits, tests and other health services. Starting Oct. 1, the program will pay between $250 and $800 per year.

Back to other CDC news for August 12, 2002

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Associated Press
08.11.02


  
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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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