Highlights Benefits for People with HIV/AIDS Will Benefit in Implementation
Washington, DC – Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Thursday, that will create a state health exchange in New York, and provide a marketplace where New Yorkers, regardless of pre-existing condition can purchase health insurance in a competitive marketplace. The exchange will bring New York in line with 13 other states that are developing similar marketplaces and are an essential component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. At the end of 2011, states were given greater flexibility in setting up their exchanges, including the establishment of essential health benefits, which are the core services that plans in the exchange are required to cover. Benchmark and benchmark-equivalent Medicaid plans will be held to a similar standard.
“The National Minority AIDS Council is pleased that Governor Cuomo is being proactive in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA),” NMAC Director of Legislative & Public Affairs Kali Lindsey. “The ACA is critical to our efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and all states must be engaged in both influencing the establishment of and monitoring the implementation of their exchanges. Despite the uncertainty around the Supreme Court challenge to the law, it is important that states not delay the development of these exchanges, which would provide an essential marketplace for millions of individuals to purchase insurance, regardless of the Court’s decision around the individual mandate.”
The CDC’s Vital signs report released last year noted that only about 942,000 of the approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV or AIDS in the United States are aware of their status. Of these, only about half visit the doctor and have their viral load and CD4 count checked on a regular basis. And while more than 425,000 people living with HIV or AIDS have been prescribed an HIV treatment regimen, only a little more than 325,000 have achieved viral suppression. State health exchanges, along with the Medicaid expansion included in the ACA, will not only increase access to care for these individuals, but will improve coordination through the establishment of medical and health homes as well as the use of electronic health records.
The HIV/AIDS community has a critical role to play in the development of these exchanges, at the federal and state level, to ensure that they are responsive to the needs of individuals living with HIV or AIDS. What’s more, we must work to ensure that Ryan White resources are available to provide wrap around services that will not be covered under these exchange plans. The HIV community must prepare for the structural and systemic changes that are being made to our health care delivery system and ensure that these changes will strengthen our ability to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext. 333