HealthDay News — Nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, the US government says. That includes the 2 approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits, and lab tests, NBC News reported.
The guidance, issued this week by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, along with the Department of Labor and the Department of the Treasury, means that a prescription for Truvada and Descovy should now be free for almost all insured people. Insurers, which were required to stop charging out-of-pocket fees for PrEP as of January 1, have 60 days to comply with the latest rules, NBC News reported.
The US Preventive Services Task Force granted PrEP an “A” rating in 2019. Under the Affordable Care Act, that means the preventive treatment must be covered by almost all insurers at no cost to the patient.
HIV prevention advocates said Tuesday the new guidance was a game changer. “While we need state Medicaid authorities and departments of insurance to follow through on implementation, this memo from the federal government literally made me jump for joy,” Jim Pickett, senior director of prevention advocacy and gay men’s health at AIDS Foundation Chicago, told NBC News. “This has the potential to wipe out many of the access obstacles we face with PrEP provision. I look forward to radical improvements in PrEP access, particularly for the communities who are most vulnerable to HIV.”