California Senate Committee Approves Bill Expanding Medi-Cal Coverage to Low-Income HIV-Positive Residents
The California Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (AB 2197) that would expand Medi-Cal coverage to HIV-positive individuals who have not been diagnosed with AIDS (AIDS Healthcare Foundation release, 2/26). To qualify for coverage, beneficiaries must be HIV-positive and enrolled in the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (AB 2197 text). The bill is based on a request from CMS for states to expand coverage in their Medicaid programs to include low-income residents who are "in the early stages of HIV." To be approved by the federal government, the benefits must be budget-neutral. Assembly member Paul Koretz (D), the bill's sponsor, said that the measure would help HIV-positive people "obtain access to stable, reliable health care and continuity of care." The state Assembly already passed the bill, which now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee (AHF release, 6/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.