Insurance Companies Avoid Patients with HIV/AIDS by Overcharging for Medications

Original Article:

Despite the mandate from the Affordable Care Act that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against patients with preexisting conditions, many of them are getting around the restriction by charging HIV/AIDS patients much higher rates for their drugs, which causes them to switch to other providers.

Researchers at Harvard examined 48 health plans in 12 states and discovered that about 25% of them used “adverse tiering,” a type of pricing scheme that forces patients to pay at least 30% of a drug’s cost. In the case of HIV/AIDS patients, that could mean paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for life-saving medications. The study did not reveal the names of any of the insurers.

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