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For Florida's uninsured with HIV, Ryan White program is best hope

Kaiser Health News

The Affordable Care Act is generally a win for people living with HIV and AIDS, about 30 percent of whom are uninsured. It offers new health insurance options — both private and public — to a group that had been largely locked out of the individual insurance market because of rules about preexisting conditions.  

If all states chose to expand Medicaid, nearly 115,000 people with HIV and AIDS would gain coverage, according to a studypublished in Health Affairs Monday. But nearly 60,000 people with the virus live in states that are not expanding their Medicaid programs and are likely to remain uninsured. More than half live in Florida, Texas and Georgia alone.

Right now, uninsured Americans with HIV and AIDS can seek treatment under the Ryan White Program, which serves as a payer of last resort and is administered through federal grants. The program is not comprehensive health insurance, however, and it does not cover inpatient care. 

Nonetheless, the Ryan White Program is likely to remain critical, says Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which released a separate study in January that drew similar conclusions. Read the story.  

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