Insurers must accept funds from U.S. program that helps HIV-AIDs patients

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) – The lead agency for President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform announced on Friday that it would require, rather than merely encourage, insurers that sell Obamacare policies to accept funds from a federal program that helps people with HIV-AIDS pay health insurance premiums. Earlier this year, BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana, the state’s largest carrier, said it would begin rejecting checks from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for Obamacare policies it sells. For decades the Ryan White program had helped low-income people with HIV and AIDS pay for both AIDS drugs and insurance premiums, but Louisiana Blue said such “third party payments” invited fraud. The chief federal agency administering Obamacare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on Friday it was requiring insurers to accept the funds, after saying last month that it “encouraged” carriers to accept the Ryan White payments and did not see any potential for fraud.
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