US insurance company reverses decision to end cover for HIV-preventing drugs
A health insurance company has reversed its decision to drop drugs used to prevent HIV transmission from its care plans.
Assurant Health, a US-wide insurer, had initially made the decision to stop covering the use of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug Truvada – which can reduce the likelihood of contracting HIV.
The drug – which has been recommended for use by men who have sex with men to prevent HIV transmission by the World Health Organisation – was initially available on Assurant plans – but men taking it were informed this weekthat their cover would stop in July.
According to POZ, a notice to one customer read: “Prophylactic treatment is not a covered benefit as listed in the Exclusion Section of your member contract.
“As a courtesy we will allow two additional months of prescription coverage for your Truvada prescription.
“This means you will continue to receive prescription drug card benefits for Truvada at CVSC Specialty Pharmacy until July 1, 2015.”
However, after the decision was condemned, the insurer reversed the decision – and extended coverage for PrEP.
Spokesperson Mary Hinderliter told POZ: “We are reversing our decision and will be reaching out to policyholders who received the letter.”
PrEP is currently available on a trial basis in the UK, with calls to fast-track it after promising results.