PPACA and Low-Income People Living with HIV: 2014 Qualified Health Plan Enrollment in a Medicaid Nonexpansion State

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People living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) often are uninsured or underinsured, and they may benefit from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) and its improved access to medical care. Safety net programs, such as AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) funded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which serve low-income people living with HIV, are incorporating Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Marketplace–qualified health plans (QHPs) and helping to fund patients’ participation. This changing landscape differs from state to state, and one main element contributing to the differing situations is whether a state elected to expand Medicaid. This review examines QHP enrollment of ADAP clients in Virginia, a Medicaid nonexpansion state, and explores some issues that affect people living with HIV in other Medicaid nonexpansion states. Virginia is a leader in the shift of ADAP healthcare delivery from direct medication provision to purchasing QHPs. Virginia ADAP clients accounted for approximately 2% of ADAP clients nationally, but they represent 17% of ADAP clients enrolled in QHPs nationwide. Ensuring good HIV care of the ADAP population is important to each patient’s personal longevity, the public health, and the efficient use of healthcare dollars. As healthcare delivery models shift, the effects on patients and health outcomes achieved should be monitored, particularly for chronic diseases such as HIV.

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