Ambetter Health, a national health insurance provider, is expanding the number of single-tablet HIV regimens it covers.
The changes take place immediately and affect enrollees in 12 states, according to a press release by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and The AIDS Institute, two groups that advocated for the change. Those states are: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
Previously, Ambetter only covered one single-tablet regimen, Atripla, out of the six currently approved by the FDA. Newer options, including Stribild, Triumeq and Genvoya, are considered “Recommended Regimen Options” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“The AIDS Foundation of Chicago strongly believes that single-tablet regimens are some of the best options for HIV medications when treatment is started and when medication adherence is a particular concern,” explains Ramon Gardenhire, vice president of policy at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, in the press release. “While this is still a work in progress, this victory does mark a significant change and a good development forward to ensure quality care for people living with HIV.”
The advocates noted that the good news is tempered by the fact that many of the meds still remain unaffordable for those with Ambetter insurance. The full cost of drugs can range from $2,753 to $3,244 per month. And some beneficiaries must pay that cost until a $6,500 deductible is met.
More details about Ambetter’s tiered coverage can be downloaded here.