Act Fast For PrEP Coverage

There is still time left to enroll in a health care plan that includes the HIV prevention method known as “PrEP.”

Community AIDS Network has navigators to assist people with getting health coverage for 2018. Headquartered in Sarasota, CAN is an HIV/AIDS service organization with clinics throughout Florida. Patrick Whiteside, a PrEP navigator, spoke to SFGN via telephone from his Miami office.

“If someone wants PrEP and insurance for 2018 this is a fantastic opportunity because we’re going to pay the monthly premiums,” said Whiteside.

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a treatment where a person takes a daily dose of the medication Truvada in order to prevent HIV infection.

“It’s new, innovative and extremely proactive,” Whiteside said of PrEP.

The deadline to enroll in the healthcare marketplace is Dec. 15. To qualify for a federal health insurance plan, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident (“green card”). The enrollment deadline for affordable care plans may be extended with a life changing event, such as marriage, divorce or job change, said Whiteside.

“It’s pretty simple,” he added. “We are working with an ACA navigator to sign up new and existing PrEP clients with ‘PrEP friendly’ Florida Blue health insurance plans. Those are defined as any plan that has a reasonable deductible, pays for the initial and quarterly office visits, covers Truvada for PrEP and covers the cost of the initial and quarterly lab work required under PrEP protocol.”

Plans do not take effect until Jan. 1, but enrollees can start receiving prescriptions and undergo testing before the end of the year.

To learn more or enroll, call Whiteside at 305-514-0813, ext. 19201.

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