The State of Louisiana's low income insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield is refusing Federal grant dollars provided to ensure patients with HIV get lifesaving care.
It has been repeatedly shown to prolong HIV patients lives by fruitful decades by providing adequate medical care.
This costs the state nothing to ensure this care. And they are refusing that.
RWHAP is a federal program through which the federal government functions as a payer of last resort, making grants to states, cities and nonprofit organizations to help low-income individuals living with HIV purchase health insurance they could not otherwise afford. Beginning this month, BCBS of Louisiana abruptly stopped accepting RHWAP premium subsidies on behalf of existing policyholders living with HIV, returning RWHAP premium checks to the state program administrator. BCBS of Louisiana also stopped accepting RHWAP premium subsidies from new enrollees.
Lambda Legal sent a letter to BCBS of Louisiana on January 27, 2014, asking that the insurance provider reverse its policy change and resume accepting RHWAP premium subsidies or explain the rationale for its abrupt and harmful policy shift. Lambda Legal requested a response by January 30, 2014, but BCBS of Louisiana never responded.
HIV infection is associated with a wide spectrum of symptoms related to the infection itself, opportunistic infections, and treatment side effects.
Addressing these symptoms improves quality of life and may improve treatment adherence. (See the HIV InSite Knowledge Base chapter Symptom Management Guidelines.) The most prevalent and distressing symptoms are weight loss, anorexia, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, cough, fever, and dyspnea.(6) As with pain, treatment of the underlying cause of the symptom may relieve the discomfort. On the other hand, when disease-specific treatments are inadequate, symptom-specific approaches are indicated.