The Affordable Care Act/Same-Sex Partner Coverage/ the Ryan White Program

affordable_care_act3zThe Obama Administration has taken another positive step in the equalization of rights for same-sex couples versus their heterosexual counterparts, by expanding health care coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act to  cover same-sex partners. This rule will come into effect in 2015.

“There are exceptions:

—”Grandfathered” plans that were in existence when the health law passed four years ago and have changed very little since then do not have to offer coverage to same-sex spouses. Those plans, however, represent a dwindling share of the market.

—The new policy does not apply to Medicaid coverage for low-income people. The administration encourages states to offer Medicaid benefits to same-sex spouses, but state authorities have the final say.

Separately, HHS issued another one-month extension for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, known as PCIP. Patients in the temporary program will now have until April 30 to find a new policy. PCIP was created as a transitional program for people turned down for coverage because of health problems.”-ABC NEWS

The administration also closed a loophole that threatened to leave some HIV/AIDS patients without coverage, by prohibiting insurers from denying HIV/AIDS patients funded through the Ryan White Program.(Ryan White was an Indiana teenager who had hemophilia and AIDS, the program began the year he died and was named after him for advocacy of proper HIV/AIDS treatment.) The Ryan White Program provides HIV-related services to individuals with inadequate healthcare coverage. Federal policy had discouraged insurance payments for individuals by third parties, i.e. the Ryan White Program. The Affordable Healthcare Act requires insurers to take on individuals regardless of their previous medical history, and insurers must accept 3rd party payments from the Ryan White Program.

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