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Issue Brief Looks At Experiences of People with HIV With Health Coverage Under the ACA

A new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on people with HIV in five states – California, Florida, Georgia, New York and Texas. Findings are drawn from focus groups in which participants discussed their experiences during the first year of the ACA’s major coverage expansions, with the goal of understanding the implications for individual HIV health outcomes and the nation’s response to the epidemic.

While many focus group participants gained new health coverage, others were left out of coverage, most often because they lived in a state not expanding its Medicaid program. These individuals expressed ongoing concerns related to health and economic well-being. Participants gaining insurance reported finding access to more comprehensive health services through their new coverage and greater economic security, but many encountered technical difficulties while enrolling. Many assumed their HIV providers and medications were covered by their new plans – but did not confirm this before enrolling. Those who enrolled in Medicaid, in states expanding the program, reported the smoothest coverage transitions. Almost all focus group participants discussed how the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program has continued to play a major role in their lives, including those with new coverage but especially those living in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the law.

Health Insurance Coverage for People with HIV Under the Affordable Care Act: Experiences in Five States is available on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.