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Insurers Accused Of Discriminating Against HIV Patients

The health law prohibits insurers from discriminating against people with serious illnesses, but some marketplace plans sidestep that taboo by making the drugs that people with HIV need unavailable or unaffordable, complaints filed recently (PDF) with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights allege. The effect may be to discourage people with HIV from buying a particular plan or getting the treatment they need, according to the complaint.

The complaints, brought by Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, charge that plans offered by seven insurers in eight states are discriminatory because they don’t cover drugs that are essential to the treatment of HIV or require high out-of-pocket spending by patients for covered drugs.

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