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In-Brief Updates

April 07, 2010

In Today's In-Brief:

*Join HIV Law Project's AIDS Walk Team
*Join Our Community Advisory Board
*How Does Health Care Reform Impact People Living with HIV/AIDS?

Join HIV Law Project's AIDS Walk Team

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Please join us on Sunday, May 16th to celebrate 25 years of AIDS Walk New York and HIV Law Project’s 20 years of critical services to people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City.

Your participation and donation is an investment that has a direct impact on the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. Join our team, walk on May 16th, donate what you can and ask others to do the same and, together, we will all be in a better place than we are today.

Join our team today (HIV Law Project Team - 5178) AIDS Walk New York is a 10 kilometer walkathon in Central Park. It is a fun and rewarding experience while contributing to the fight for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS right here in New York City.

Check out our AIDS Walk New York page >>

Join Our Community Advisory Board

HIV Law Project seeks members for its Consumer Advisory Board Group.

We are looking for HIV+ individuals to share their very important opinions about services available for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). Our meetings will act as a forum where individuals address service gaps in the community from both a general standpoint and a legal one.

Meetings will be held every 3 months at our office on 15 Maiden Lane, 18th Floor. Food and drink will be served. Metro cards will be provided.

For more information about how to become an active participant, please contact our case manager Phillipe Kleefield at 212-577-3001 x 224 or by email at pkleefield@hivlawproject.org.

HOW DOES HEALTH CARE REFORM IMPACT PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS?

President Obama signed the final piece of historic health care reform legislation last Tuesday. Now that the reform process is finally over, here are some of the highlights of the legislation for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Note that many of the changes take place in future years; few of the changes go into effect immediately.

Thanks to Advocates for Youth, AIDS Action, Health Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School and the Treatment Access Expansion Project, Housing Works, Kaiser Family Foundation, National Organization for Women, and RH Reality Check for their syntheses from which this material was largely drawn.

Public health care

  • Creates Medicaid eligibility for individuals and families with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty line and eliminates the Medicaid disability requirement. This means that individuals living with HIV no longer must wait for an AIDS diagnosis before becoming eligible for Medicaid. This change will also relieve some of the strain on state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) by expanding access to Medicaid.

  • Phases out the Medicare Part D donut hole and allows ADAP to be used to pay true-out-of-pocket expenses. Currently, when people on Medicare Part D hit the initial coverage limit of $2,510 they are required to pay $4,550 out of pocket, referred to as “true out of pocket costs” or TrOOP, before catastrophic coverage kicks in. Under the new law, ADAP benefits will be considered toward TrOOP so that ADAP, rather than individuals living with HIV, pays the out-of-pocket expenses.

Private health insurance

  • PIncreases access to private health insurance by eliminating discrimination based on health status, and by preventing the practice of charging individuals differently based on their health status and gender.

  • Increases coverage for a new mandated benefits package that includes prescription drugs, preventative care, chronic disease management, and substance abuse and mental health treatment.

  • Increases affordability by offering subsidies to individuals and families with incomes between 133-400% of the federal poverty level. Click here to read the entire article >>