Instances men turned down for coverage based on HIV prevention use are increasingly common.
Americans taking the prescription drug Truvada are finding it harder to purchase a disability insurance policy.
Truvada is an HIV prevention drug meant to help protect a user from becoming infected.
The Affordable Care Act bans health insurance companies from discriminating based on sexual orientation. That said, the states themselves each have their own regulations for what is allowed to determine eligibility for certain specific types of coverage such as life, long-term care, or a disability insurance policy. That said, using the Truvada drug can reveal details about an individual’s sexual orientation that cannot be asked directly.
The New York Times reported on the story of a Boston urologist who is gay and was turned down for disability insurance coverage due to the prescription drug regimen he was taking. He applied for coverage at another company and was able to obtain it, but only because he had ceased his used of Truvada by that point.
PrEP medications are getting in the way of eligibility for disability insurance policies.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an effective HIV prevention technique. That said, while this may be considered a positive healthy preventative step, some times of insurance see it in another way. This has been an increasing problem already being investigated in some states, such as New York, as was reported by Live Insurance News earlier this year.
HIV Project Director, Scott Schoettes from Chicago has said that this effort to protect health could harm a financial situation. Schoettes said that in certain circumstances, disability insurance companies are charging higher premiums to customers taking HIV prevention drugs. That said, he added that “mostly it’s straight-up denial for life, disability or long-term care insurance.”
The medication first started gaining broader HIV prevention use about half a decade ago. At that time, insurance companies started paying attention. “It popped for them because if someone is taking Truvada, they were taking it because it is used for HIV-positive status,” said Schoettes.
It should be noted that PrEP regimens aren’t used exclusively by gay men. “But [the denials] seem to affect gay men disproportionately,” Schoettes said about efforts to purchase a disability insurance policy. “That’s because the HIV epidemic affects gay men disproportionately.”