MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kaiser Family Foundation has produced a new consumer web portal to help people living with HIV navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically designed to address the needs of people with HIV, the Obamacare & You portal, funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc., is presented as part of Greater Than AIDS, a leading national public information initiative developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation together with the Black AIDS Institute.
It is estimated that about one in four people with HIV in care in the U.S. are currently uninsured and many more are underinsured. People with HIV could be among those who make the greatest gains in coverage from the ACA, and the portal was developed to help navigate the new healthcare environment.
Features of the Greater Than AIDS Obamacare and You portal include:
- A "Find Your Story" feature that explains how someone with HIV may be affected by the ACA based on their current insurance situation;
- A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section that provides answers to more than fifty questions about the ACA as it affects people living with HIV, such as "Can I be denied health insurance because I have HIV?" and "If I receive services from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program or AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), do I still need insurance?";
- State-specific information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on health insurance marketplaces (including a list of available plans and information about financial assistance), Medicaid coverage options, Ryan White HIV/AIDS and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs, and other relevant HIV resources;
- A guide to the essential health benefits provided under the ACA with detail about relevance to people with HIV;
- A downloadable worksheet to help people applying for coverage gather relevant information necessary to enroll and make plan choices that best suit their HIV care needs;
- Other tools, including links to the Foundation's animated video explaining how to get ready for Obamacare and its health reform subsidy calculator.
"Our new Obamacare & You web portal for people with HIV is part of a growing body of resources the Foundation is developing to help Americans understand the ACA and their choices under the law," said Kaiser Family Foundation President & CEO Drew Altman. "It is especially important that people with HIV understand how potential changes in health insurance will affect their coverage status and access to care and medications that are vitally important to their health and continuing prevention efforts."
Among the aspects of the ACA that have particular relevance for people with HIV seeking coverage in the private insurance market are reforms that preclude insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions as a cause for denying coverage. The removal of spending limits—both annual and lifetime—also have bearing given the high cost of ongoing HIV care. In addition, since HIV rates are disproportionately higher among those with lower incomes, it is also expected that many people living with HIV will seek coverage in expanded Medicaid programs in those states that opt to do so.
The Obamacare & You consumer web portal is part of the Foundation's ongoing effort to help consumers understand the ACA and their choices under the law. The content is the sole product and responsibility of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Gilead Sciences, Inc. provided funding for its development. More of the Foundation's consumer resources on the ACA can be found on www.kff.org/aca-consumer-resources/.
The Foundation also produces fact sheets and analyses on the topic of HIV/AIDS, including materials on how the ACA affects people living with HIV. This information is available at http://www.kff.org/hivaids/.
More information on Greater Than AIDS is available at www.greaterthan.org.
About the Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people. The Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, California.
About Greater Than AIDS
Greater Than AIDS is a leading national public information response focused on the U.S. domestic epidemic. Launched in 2009, it is supported by a broad coalition of public and private sector partners, including: major media and other business leaders; Federal, state and local health agencies and departments; national leadership groups; AIDS service and other community organizations; and foundations, among others.
Through targeted media messages and community outreach, Greater Than AIDS works to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and promote actions to stem the spread of the disease. While national in scope, Greater Than AIDS focuses on communities most affected.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (provides strategic direction and day-to-day management, as well as oversees the production of the campaigns. The Black AIDS Institute – a think tank exclusively focused on AIDS in Black America – provides leadership and expert guidance and supports community engagement. Additional financial and substantive support is provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation and MAC AIDS, among others.
About Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide. Headquartered in Foster City, California, Gilead has operations in North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation