Essential Health Benefits for Behavioral Health: Impact for Medi-Cal Recipients Living with HIV in California

The Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are 10 categories of health services that insurance plans must cover. This brief report highlights how the Affordable Care Act, specifically in its provision for EHBs, has improved coverage of behavioral health care services for low-income individuals living with HIV in California. The report also describes areas of improvement for service accessibility. We offer recommendations for policy makers to consider at the state and federal levels during this time of health care reform.

Use of HIV Set-Aside Funding from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant in California

This study explored how a sample of California counties previously used the HIV Set-Aside of the SAPT Block Grant, which contributed over $12 million statewide to HIV early intervention services and hepatitis C screening and linkage to care in FY2015. The HIV Set-Aside was discontinued in FY2016 when California’s AIDS cases dropped below the eligibility threshold, and the state was no longer permitted to use SAPT funds towards HIV Set-Aside activities. We recommend revising the eligibility criteria for HIV Set-Aside funding, and suggest other funding mechanisms that could help to support services previously covered by the HIV Set-Aside.

New Fact Sheet Shows Women and People of Color Disproportionately Impacted by California’s HIV Criminalization Laws

This week, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 239, a bill to modernize laws that criminalize people living with HIV.

Community Input Meeting Synthesis: Strategic Priorities for 2017

Following the Community Input Meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles in October and November of 2017, the Executive Committee of the policy centers—consisting of investigators from the academic and community partners at both centers, as well as CHRP project officers—met to review the priority areas, identify commonalities and overlap, consider feasibility, and map out plans for the coming year. This letter summarizes the decisions we made during that meeting.

PrEP Cost Analysis for Covered California Health Plans

PrEP is a highly effective medication for preventing HIV. Those interested in PrEP and enrolling in a Covered California health plan should carefully weigh the costs of a Truvada® prescription, copays for regular doctors’ visits and laboratory tests, and monthly premiums. With Gilead’s copay card, PrEP is affordable (less than $400/year) on all Covered California health plans except Bronze plans. However, this does not include the cost of monthly premiums and assumes that medical and pharmacy deductibles have not been met. You can use Covered California’s shop and compare tool to see the cost of premiums in your area at ... [Read More];

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