News Release

People with HIV Who Gained Health Coverage Under ACA Are More Comfortable Navigating Insurance Two Years Later, But Problems Persist, Others Remain Uninsured

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report based on focus groups conducted in five states finds people living with HIV are more comfortable with navigating health insurance two years into the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major coverage expansions. Those in the marketplaces and Medicaid recognize their new benefits but often continue to worry about maintaining coverage and remain concerned about its affordability, and many in states without Medicaid expansion remain uninsured.

The brief takes a second look at the impact of the ACA on people with HIV in five states – California, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas. Observations are drawn from interviews in early 2016 in which participants discussed their experiences with the ACA, following up on an earlier report from 2014 when coverage opportunities were only newly available.

Many of those who gained coverage through the marketplaces and Medicaid are successfully meeting their HIV care and treatment needs and are also able to address non-HIV health issues. Those who remain uninsured in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs can meet HIV needs with the assistance of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, but many have health issues that are neglected without coverage and face substantial medical debt. For both those that gained coverage and those that remain uninsured, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program continues to play a crucial role in the lives of almost all participants.

The analysis was discussed today at a public briefing at the Foundation, featuring a panel discussion with HIV experts. An archived webcast of the briefing will be available later online.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.