Washington DC - "We are extremely pleased that health reform will proceed in the U.S. and millions of people, including many with HIV/AIDS, who have not had quality affordable health care will have access to care and treatment, along with preventative services, as a result of today's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act," commented Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.
Comprehensive health reform will help people with HIV/AIDS in numerous ways. About 60 percent of the nearly 1.2 million people with HIV in the United States are not in care, and even more are not accessing lifesaving medications. The expansion of the Medicaid program and the creation of insurance exchanges, both of which were upheld by the Court, will help address this by providing greater access to health care coverage.
Many people with HIV/AIDS access their medications through Medicare Part D. Closure of the "donut hole", which has already been closed in part, will allow for continued drug coverage and reduce chances of medication interruption due to an inability to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
The law also includes numerous insurance reforms. People with HIV/AIDS, who have historically been denied coverage due to their condition, will no longer be discriminated against when seeking coverage. People living with HIV and other chronic diseases are also protected as they will no longer be subject to annual and lifelong coverage caps, or risk being removed from their insurance plan.
Coverage of prevention services contained in the law will help many people access HIV testing without cost. Free preventive services for women in private insurance plans, including an annual HIV test, are set to begin on August 1, 2012.
"We are enormously gratified by the Court's Constitutional validation of the law. Passage of the Affordable Care Act was a historical step forward toward providing health care to all in the United States. We now call on all parties in Washington DC and in the states to focus on fully implementing the law to ensure that it works for all people, including those with HIV," added Michael Ruppal, Executive Director of The AIDS Institute.