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February 20, 2014

Two More Louisiana Insurers Reject ACA Ryan White Funds

Two more insurers in Louisiana are refusing to accept third-party payments for premiums. As a result, the LGBT group Lambda Legal and the New Orleans AIDS Task Force have filed administrative complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights, according to a Lambda Legal statement.

The decisions by Louisiana Health Cooperative and Vantage Health Plan follow the same decision by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Louisiana, which will no longer accept third-party payments for its premiums as of March 1. Lambda Legal and the New Orleans AIDS Task Force have already filed an HHS complaint against BCBS.

Further, Lambda Legal also has filed a federal class action discrimination lawsuit against BCBS, according to an additional Lambda Legal statement. The group is seeking an emergency injunction to force all three companies to accept third-party payments until the lawsuit is heard.

BCBS claims to have made its decision based on 2013 guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which cited the risk of fraud as a concern in accepting third-party payments. However, a spokesperson for CMS has clarified payments from the Ryan White program should remain acceptable.

As a result of the BCBS decision, hundreds of people with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana receiving assistance under the federal Ryan White CARE Act who enrolled in plans under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. the health care reform law, or ACA) are in danger of losing their ACA health care coverage. Now, even more people are at risk.

The people affected fall into a financial gap. They cannot enroll in Medicaid since Louisiana chose not to expand it under the ACA. Further, they cannot receive federal subsidies outside of the Ryan White program to pay for ACA premiums because they do not meet the minimum of at least being at 100 percent of the federal poverty line. Ryan White funds are their only option to pay premiums for ACA plans.

To read the statements, click here and here.

Search: Louisiana, New Orleans, BCBS, HHS, Lambda Legal, ACA

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  comments 1 - 6 (of 6 total)    

Michael, Haslett, 2014-02-28 09:23:34
I am not surprised that this has happened because once a large insurance company tells the public it is going to do something other insurance companies follow right along with them. I am sure that this will also start in other states and not just in Louisiana.

SFCHIPPSLB, Long Beach, 2014-02-27 15:06:34
What the F#!%! Money is money, how dare those companies reject Ryan White funds. Their hatred is contagious. I will not go or buy anything from Louisiana and I'll persuade my friends, family, etc. to boycott, too. It just makes me sick! ! !

zach, atlanta, 2014-02-27 14:29:27
why? just why? do you simply want us to die?

Greg747, Patchogue, NY, 2014-02-26 14:32:23
Oh! My NOLA... My two cents is that this is patently illegal on its face. Louisiana is clearly violating federal law. And in the cause of saving of few bucks, they will be paying dearly in the near future when they will indeed lose in Court. Oh, and I should not forget the hundreds of my fellow humans who will suffer real physical and mental anguish and stress over this. Jindal and company are barbaric, and possibly criminal in their negligence.

Frederick Wright-Stafford, Jacksonville, 2014-02-20 16:05:51
This is very funny for Blue Cross accept third payment for Medicare elderly patients or Good Old Fashion Government funding. Yes my understanding is all contractual provider for Medicare get 800 bucks up front for servicing elderly Medicare patients and they cash the checks with no problem. It seems like Blue Cross and the Southern Insurance companies are breaking the ADA and picking a protect group to spear head their negotiations. Blue is taking out the cross for the Green, yuk and more yuk.

Edin Bass, Texas City TX, 2014-02-20 14:20:09
I believe this is just an excuse for them to reject a pre existing condition, force more people to have to live under the poverty level. This all seems like another lie of the administration on this NHC for those who can't afford insurance. I wonder how many people in Louisiana had coverage that were dropped from their existing plans. It's a shame and should have been implemented with for thought.

comments 1 - 6 (of 6 total)    

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