Insurers May Be Using Drug Prices To Keep The Sickest Patients From Their Plans, Study Finds
An analysis by Harvard researchers found that some plans offered through the health insurance marketplaces may be pricing HIV drugs out of reach in an effort to get around the health laws's mandate against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
The Washington Post:
Health Insurers May Be Finding New Ways To Discriminate Against Patients
One of the greatest promises of the Affordable Care Act is that if you are sick or get sick, health insurers can no longer charge you more or avoid covering you altogether. They have to provide coverage to anyone who wants it, and they're not allowed to cherry pick healthier customers over sick customers. But patient groups say they've spotted an alarming trend of some health insurance plans designing drug benefits to purposefully keep out sicker, costlier patients. It's currently the subject of a federal complaint, and a new study offers evidence this is happening across the country. (Millman, 1/28)
The Associated Press:
Study: Insurers May Using Drug Costs To Discriminate
Insurance companies, perhaps more than previously thought, may be charging the sickest patients extra for drugs under the federal health law, in an effort to discourage them from choosing certain plans, according to a study released Wednesday. One of the cornerstones of President Obama's signature health law forbids insurance companies from turning away people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or cancer. Yet hundreds of patient advocacy groups say insurance companies have found a way to discriminate against these people, who are more expensive to cover because they require life-long treatments. (Kennedy, 1/28)
The New York Times:
Study Finds H.I.V. Drugs Priced Out Of Reach
Drugs to treat H.I.V. and AIDS are being priced out of reach for many patients enrolled in insurance plans through the new health care exchanges, despite warnings that such practices are illegal under the Obama administration’s health care law, according to a new analysis by Harvard researchers. (Thomas, 1/28)
Have Insurers Found Way Around Obamacare 'Pre-Existing Conditions' Rule?
Some insurance companies may be using high-dollar pharmacy co-pays to flout the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) mandate against discrimination on the basis of pre-existing health problems, Harvard researchers claim. These insurers may have structured their drug coverage to discourage people with HIV from enrolling in their plans through the health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA, sometimes called "Obamacare," the researchers contend in the Jan. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. (Thompson, 1/28)