An estimated 100,000 Americans living with HIV/AIDS rely on Medicare for their medical treatment and prescription drugs, including anti-retroviral drugs, drugs used to treat side effects, and other health services to treat the issues people living with HIV/AIDS experience. Medicare Part D, meant to address prescriptions, was not conceived with this population in mind and has serious flaws relative to it, most especially the coverage gap or "doughnut hole." This gap is an impossible burden to these patients due to the nature of treating HIV/AIDS, which relies primarily on medications.
Ros-Lehtinen And Others Urge Speaker Pelosi To Help With The Way Medicare Counts The Aids Drug Assistance Program & Thus Close The Doughnut Hole In AIDS Treatment
Anti retroviral drugs rarely have generic equivalents and are very expensive. Because of these costs, HIV/AIDS patients may reach the doughnut hole within the first several months of the year. Once in the doughnut hole, these patients must bear their entire drug costs until they have spent an additional $3,454 and then Part D once again will help them with their drug costs.
Fixing the way Medicare counts the state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP) support would make an immediate difference in filling the doughnut hole for these patients and ensure they have access to their life saving medications.