North Carolina ADAP Eligibility Requirements Too Restrictive, Report Says
North Carolina's AIDS Drug Assistance Program has the strictest eligibility requirements and the longest waiting list in the United States, according to a new report by the Common Sense Foundation, the AP/Myrtle Beach Sun-News reports. North Carolina caps income eligibility for ADAP at $11,075 per year for an individual; eligibility limits in most other states are twice as high. In addition, of the 1,200 people in the United States currently on a waiting list to enroll in ADAP, 685 live in North Carolina, the report states (AP/Myrtle Beach Sun-News, 10/12). ADAP enrollment in North Carolina has been frozen since last December. State health officials said that North Carolina's $1.8 billion budget deficit has hurt ADAP and a variety of other programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/29). But David Mills, research director at the Common Sense Foundation, said that North Carolina "failed to support HIV programs adequately even before the state's recent budget woes," the Sun-News reports. The foundation is urging the state to expand eligibility for its ADAP and eliminate the waiting list. These two efforts would cost less than $20 million, according to foundation estimates. But some officials have expressed concern about expanding the program's eligibility. Roy Cordato, vice president for research at the John Locke Foundation, said that expanding the program could "commit the state to huge expenditures in the future," noting that the costs for "any government-subsidized health care program ... always go up more quickly than ... predicted" (AP/Myrtle Beach Sun-News, 10/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.