Over the years, the number of HIV-positive patients has dramatically increased. HIV is a condition wherein the individual’s immune system is weakened making them easily susceptible to develop infections. Aside from their constant struggle to combat these infections and survive, these people are also faced with another problem.
Sadly, most people living with HIV do not have any health insurance coverage that will help them with their health care costs. HIV is considered a pre-existing condition by insurance companies. And, since the risk of insuring them is too high, these applications are usually denied outright. Luckily, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has come to their aid by removing the right from insurers to deny an application from people with a pre-existing condition. If the health care reform law survives the November election, this provision will take effect in 2014. This will increase HIV-positive patients’ access to health care which they badly need.
Also, the Affordable Care Act created a provision banning insurance companies from applying lifetime and annual caps on health insurance plans. Lifetime limits were banned in 2010 and complete eradication of annual limits will be enforced in 2014. This is a huge relief to many since the amount of coverage received in a year or in a lifetime will no longer be limited. This ensures that people will get their health care bills covered during the time that they need it the most.
For individuals and small business owners, they also have the option of buying affordable health insurance plans through the state-based health insurance exchange. This is a mandate under the health care reform law bound to begin in 2014.
Let us not forget the fact that although there are some HIV-positive patients who can buy individual health insurance plans, unfortunately, there are also those who could not afford to buy one because they come from low-income families. These people turn to Medicaid, the health insurance program designed to help people with low incomes, disabilities, and etc. By 2014, the health care reform law will increase people’s access to health care by making people with income levels below or at 133 percent of federal poverty lines eligible. This would only apply to states that agree to expand Medicaid, though.
Many people, even those without HIV, are anticipating the health care benefits that will be offered by the health care reform law in 2014. The coming health care changes promised by the Affordable Care Act will really bring hope to HIV-positive patients anxious to get health care coverage.