PrEP HIV Prevention Pills to Be Free for Insured Americans

By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
Health Day reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Almost all health insurers must cover the full cost of HIV prevention treatments, according to the US government.

This includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits and lab tests, NBC News reported.

The guidelines, released this week by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Department of Labor and the Treasury, mean that a prescription for Truvada and Descovy should now be free for almost all patients. insured persons.

Insurers, who were to stop charging reimbursable fees for PrEP as of January 1, have 60 days to comply with the latest rules, NBC News reported.

The US Task Force on Preventive Services gave PrEP an “A” rating in 2019. Under the Affordable Care Act, this means that preventive treatment must be covered by almost all insurers at no cost to you. the patient.

HIV prevention advocates said Tuesday that the new guidelines were a game-changer.

“While we need Medicaid authorities and state insurance departments to follow up on implementation, this memo from the federal government literally made me jump with joy,” said Jim Pickett, senior director of gay men’s health and prevention advocacy at the AIDS Foundation Chicago. NBC News. “It has the potential to remove many barriers to accessing PrEP. I look forward to dramatic improvements in access to PrEP, especially for communities most vulnerable to HIV. ”

Yet Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute, said NBC News that many insurers are still not complying with the January rule stating that they cannot bill patients for their Truvada or Descovy prescriptions.

Robert Greenwald, clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School, said NBC News that he plans to “work to enforce the new guidelines and ensure that the promise of this free preventive service to reduce HIV acquisition is fulfilled.”

More information

Visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to learn more about HIV.

SOURCE: NBC News

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