Study finds unfair HIV-drug pricing in US health plans

A health educator uses a syringe to take a drop of blood from a man's finger to conducting an HIV test, at a health center in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2012Some US health insurance plans are discriminating against people with HIV by placing antiretroviral drugs in a high-cost category and forcing patients to pay more for coverage, researchers said Wednesday. The study in the New England Journal of Medicine warns that the practice is undermining a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care reform, which set out to end health insurers' use of preexisting conditions to deny coverage to sick people. Under some health plans, HIV drugs may cost a patient nearly $ 3,000 more per year than in other plans, said the study led by Harvard University.

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