Group Says Obamacare Plans Discourage HIV Patients From Enrolling

A coalition of AIDS organizations is asking the Obama administration to investigate whether some insurers are trying to discourage HIV-infected patients from enrolling in their policies by failing to cover some AIDS drugs or through what it called "egregious cost-sharing designs." Other stories explore the law's impact on African-Americans and small businesses.

The Wall Street Journal: Group Says Plans Discourage HIV Patients
A coalition of 31 HIV/AIDS organizations is urging the Obama administration to investigate whether some health insurers are trying to discourage HIV-infected patients from enrolling in new policies being sold under the health-care law, a move the groups say could be illegal. The Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination against people who are sick; insurers can't deny them coverage or charge them more than healthier peers (Beck, 12/10).

Detroit News: U.S. Touts Benefits Of Health Law For African-Americans
A Detroit family of four with an income of $50,000 a year could buy insurance at healthcare.gov for as little as $126 a month after subsidies, the U.S. government announced Monday as part of a report on how federal health care reform impacts African-Americans. ... Six out of 10 uninsured African-Americans who may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace might qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or tax credits to help with premium costs, according to the report. “Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, 6.8 million uninsured African-Americans have new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs,” Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a press release (Bouffard, 12/10).

National Journal: Republican Opposition Cuts Obamacare’s Benefit To Blacks
More than 2.2 million African-Americans living below the federal poverty line won't have access to Obamacare's insurance benefits due to the slew of states that opted out of the law's Medicaid expansion. Had all 50 states expanded Medicaid, 95 percent of uninsured African-Americans would be eligible for some form of federal assistance through the Affordable Care Act coverage—either via Medicaid or premium subsidies—according to a Health and Human Services report released Monday. Instead, only 60 percent will benefit (Ritger, 12/10).

USA Today: SHOP For Health Care Is Help For Small Business
SHOP marketplaces are operating online in most of the states running their own small business marketplaces. That includes 10 states and the District of Columbia planning to run their own marketplaces for individual care, and two other states creating their own SHOP marketplace but using the federal government's HealthCare.gov site for the individual market. The other states under the federal system are a different story: Though businesses can still buy SHOP plans, they aren't available online and lack some of the major features for which they were originally intended (McGinnis, 12/11).

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