On Sunday, the Miami Herald reported that some of Florida’s 95,000 HIV patients may soon face higher drug costs due to Obamacare.
The Herald says that when Tony Smith learned the state’s AIDS Insurance Continuation Program (AICP) was shifting him off his existing plan and onto Florida’s Obamacare exchange, he realized the change would mean far higher pharmaceutical costs.
Currently, AICP, which Smith says “saved my life,” pays $750 of Smith’s $803 monthly premium and a monthly co-pay of $110 for medication. By contrast, the Humana silver plan would force Smith to pay a $1,500 prescription deductible and half of his total drug costs. The Herald reports that Smith’s Atripla antiretroviral alone would require that he pay nearly $1,000 a month until he reach a $6,300 out-of-pocket limit.
“That’s just such a crazy jump from what I’m paying now,” Smith said. “I’m already trying to save by not going to the doctor for minor stuff.”
Smith is not alone. With Florida having the third-highest HIV infection rate, several other Floridians may be facing similar economic hardships due to Obamacare. The Herald reports that some individuals with HIV “discovered too late that the insurance plans they had purchased either didn’t offer enough coverage to make their HIV medicines affordable or didn’t include long-time healthcare providers in their network.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), at least 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV.