HIV/AIDS Drugs to Be Covered Under Beijing’s Insurance System
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Labor and Social Security announced on Thursday that the city's insurance system will begin covering the cost of HIV/AIDS drugs next month when 12 antiretroviral drugs are added to the system's list of 3,600 included medicines, Xinhua/China View reports (Xinhua/China View, 7/15). About one million workers and retirees in the city's businesses, institutions, government departments, social groups and some private companies were covered by the insurance at the end of last year (People's Daily Online, 7/15). Workers and retirees covered under the system will have to pay a small amount for the drugs, while most of the costs will be reimbursed by the employer, according to Agence France-Presse. The system previously did not cover antiretrovirals. Although the decision to include antiretrovirals under Beijing's insurance scheme "sounds promising on the face of it," stigma and discrimination potentially could cause problems for HIV/AIDS patients, according to Agence France-Presse. HIV/AIDS in China is still regarded as a "shameful" disease, and employees may not request medical service from their employers because they would have to reveal their status (Agence France Presse, 7/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.