Medicare Begins To Reimburse For HIV Screening

Medicare is beginning a new federal policy that covers HIV screening for seniors. The Hartford Courant reports that "testing for the virus among those 65 and older lags far behind testing of other Americans, and experts say they worry that HIV cases in older adults go undiagnosed — some because of the stigma that the disease still carries, some because patients might dismiss the symptoms of the virus as signs of other conditions more frequently associated with aging and some because doctors can be hesitant to talk to older patients about sex or link their symptoms with HIV."

"Last month, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare would cover HIV screenings for beneficiaries who are at increased risk for HIV, who are pregnant or who request it ... AIDS advocates and people who work with the elderly welcomed the change, but some warned that it will probably take more than Medicare coverage to foster more widespread testing and awareness" (Becker, 1/4).

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