ACA & Ryan White: Using Your New Coverage

ACA & Ryan White: Using Your New Coverage

April 15, 2014
Using your new coverage image

About 7.5 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act coverage as of March 31, the end of open enrollment season for 2014. In addition, around 3 million signed up for Medicaid in those states expanded eligibility to all individuals with an income of under 138% of the federal poverty level.

Here are some considerations for Ryan White clients who have new Affordable Care Act marketplace health policies or new Medicaid coverage.

Picking a Doctor and Clinic

  • Ideally, you picked a plan that included a trusted HIV/AIDS doctor and clinic--perhaps the Ryan White clinic you already see. If not, ask your case manager or benefits counselor to help you find and select a new doctor and clinic.

Staying on Your Care Plan

  • It is critical that you continue to adhere to your HIV/AIDS antiretroviral treatment regimen and care plan. Ask your clinic to make sure your new coverage includes your HIV/AIDS drugs and other services you need. In particular, determine how to access services, like what pharmacies you need to use to get your medications.
  • If you are transitioning to a new doctor or clinic, make sure your current clinic gives you a supply of medications that will last until your new plan starts providing the drugs you need.

Ryan White Grantees

Paying for Coverage

  • There may be new costs with your new coverage. Ask your case manager or benefits counselor for help in figuring out these costs. 
  • Also, ask if there is help from Ryan White to pay for these costs, including your monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. These cost calculators may be helpful.
  • If you don't have a bank account, think about opening one so you can pay your monthly premiums automatically.
  • If you are getting tax credits or subsidies to help pay for coverage, keep track of changes in your income, which can affect the amount of help you get.
  • Think ahead to next year if you have to file a tax return. Free filing help is available from VITA sites.