- Report Published -
|Premium Assistance Programs for HIV-Positive Individuals|
|Department of Medical Assistance Services|
|HJR 663 (Regular Session, 1993)|
|House Joint Resolution No. 663 of the 1993 General Assembly directed the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in consultation with the Department of Medical Assistance Services and the State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance, to study the cost-effectiveness of an insurance premium assistance program for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive persons and to develop a plan for review by the General Assembly. The study finding and recommendations are to be submitted to the Governor, the Joint Subcommittee Studying HIV and the 1994 General Assembly.|
Ensuring adequate health coverage is a major concern for those receiving a positive diagnosis for HIV infection. Medical expenses range from $3,400 to $11,880 annually for persons with HIV and are about $33,000 for persons with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). As with other serious, chronic illnesses, once the condition is diagnosed, insurers may reject a new applicant or pre-existing condition limitations may apply to the coverage.
An additional problem may occur for those persons previously working and covered by employer group insurance. Federal and state law provides for continuation of policies for a period of time, with some qualification, if an employee leaves a job. The employee is responsible for picking up premiums. Although insurance is therefore available, the cost frequently becomes prohibitive and the individual must drop coverage. Options then are to be uninsured or to try to qualify for Medicaid.