Advertisement
  1. Health

Humana agrees to cut costs of HIV drugs for Florida patients

Published Dec. 20, 2014

The third of four Florida insurers accused of overcharging HIV and AIDS patients for their medications has agreed to take steps to reduce those costs, advocacy groups announced Friday.

Humana signed an agreement with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation agreeing to reduce patient cost-sharing for all HIV drugs on the 2015 plans it sells on the federal marketplace in Florida.

Florida officials began investigating after two advocacy groups — the AIDS Institute based on Davis Islands in Tampa and the National Health Law Program — filed a federal complaint alleging four insurance companies had discriminated against HIV and AIDS patients.

The complaint said the insurers' popular "silver" plans sold through the marketplace are designed so that routine medications for HIV/AIDS patients come with the greatest out-of-pocket costs.

The insurers named in the complaint were Cigna, Humana, Coventry Health Care and Preferred Medical.

As part of the new agreement with the state, Humana will lower patient cost-sharing of HIV drugs from 50 to 10 percent co-insurance for the more costly HIV medications. For HIV drugs that are less than $600, Humana will lower the cost to patients from 50 percent co-insurance to a $50 co-pay.

State officials have reached separate agreements with Cigna and Coventry. In both of those agreements, the insurers agreed to limit patient cost-sharing for only four HIV drugs. The agreement with Humana affects all HIV drugs, the AIDS Institute said in a news release.

"This agreement will help ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS will have greater access to essential medicines in Florida at a more affordable cost," said Carl Schmid, deputy executive director for The AIDS Institute. "However, much work needs to be done."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Fifty-two percent of Americans support a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes with fruit and other flavors, according to new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. TONY DEJAK  |  AP
    But a smaller percentage supports banning all forms of the product. Most younger adults oppose both ideas.
  2. FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 file photo, Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. On Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, the company announced it will voluntarily stop selling its fruit and dessert-flavored vaping pods. SETH WENIG  |  AP
    The flavored pods affected by the announcement are mango, crème, fruit, and cucumber.
  3. Travis Malloy who runs an 8-acre farm with his assistant Shelby Alinsky on the east side of Temple Terrace, raises organic beef, pigs, turkeys and chickens. Malloy has also set up a number of...
  4. Dr. James Quintessenza, left, will return as the head of the Johns Hopkins All Children's heart surgery program department. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY HOSPITAL  |  Times
    The heart surgery program’s mortality rate spiked after the surgeon left, a 2018 Times investigation revealed.
  5. Stephanie Vold, a medical assistant and intake specialist for OnMed, holds the door while Austin White, president and CEO of the company, talks with a nurse practitioner during a demonstration of their new telehealth system at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday. The hospital is the first to deploy the OnMed station and plans to install them at other locations. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The closet-size “office” with a life-size screen is another example of the changing face of medicine.
  6. Marijuana plants grow in a greenhouse environment in this room at the Curaleaf Homestead Cultivation Facility. This environment controls the amount of natural sunlight and artificial light the plants are exposed to, as well as the temperature. EMILY MICHOT  |  Miami Herald
    An Atlanta broker is listing one license for $40 million and the other for $55 million.
  7. A page from the Medicare Handbook focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. Medicare's open enrollment period for 2020 begins Oct. 15 and lasts through Dec. 7. PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS  |  AP
    New benefits are giving an extra boost to Medicare Advantage, the already popular alternative to traditional Medicare.
  8. The Tampa Bay Times' annual Medicare Guide explains how the program is set up, helps you compare options available in the Tampa Bay area, and points the way toward help, including free, one-on-one assistance. This illustration will grace the cover of LifeTimes on Oct. 23, when the guide will be published in print. RON BORRESEN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    As the open enrollment period begins, it’s time to review your coverage.
  9. The Medicare Handbook for 2020 is a good resource to have as the annual open enrollment period gets under way. The government usually mails beneficiaries a copy. Find a PDF version to print at medicare.gov/pub/medicare-you-handbook, or call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) to order a copy. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The open enrollment period, which lasts into December, is a time for millions of beneficiaries to review, and possibly change, their coverage.
  10. Medicare's online Plan Finder has been redesigned and is available at medicare.gov/find-a-plan. THOMAS TOBIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The most-used tool on Medicare.gov will look different this year.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement