The United States Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law that provides health coverage for millions of Americans who are uninsured. This historic act has paved the way for so many Americans to get coverage that was previously denied to them just a few years ago. For people living with HIV/AIDS this decision is without question a victory. Here are three ways that the Affordable Care Act helps.
- No more denial of health insurance due to "pre-existing conditions." People who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS have been discriminated against for years through the term "pre-existing condition." They were either denied coverage or given a really high premium to pay. This act now eliminates that by making it illegal for insurance companies to deny a person for having HIV. There are probably other legal ways that insurance companies can deny a person, so it's wise to stay as healthy as possible.
- "Donut hole" closure. Some patients who are HIV positive depend on Medicare Part D for assistance to pay for medications. Before this law, there was a gap between where the coverage ended and where the patient had to pay out-of-pocket called the "donut hole." The closure of this hole doesn't necessarily make medications free for everyone but it will help reduce the cost for the patients. Hopefully this will keep patients compliant with their medication routine.
- Healthcare access will be expanded. Insurance exchanges (where you can sorta shop for insurance) and expanding the Medicaid program will help people with HIV/AIDS get coverage. They will have access to medications and treatment which can also help with other co-morbidities that they such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
For a more thorough explanation about how Obamacare works for Americans (with or without HIV), click here.