According to a report published in the Bay Area Reporter, Kaiser Permanente recently began requiring people living with HIV/AIDS to pay a percentage of the cost their drugs, instead of a copay amount. Last year, the copay amounts for generic drugs was $35, and the copay for brand name drugs was $50. While these copays remain for most drugs, Kaiser created a tier of drugs called “specialty drugs” where patients also pay 20% of the cost of those drugs. This is part of a growing trend for insurance companies to move certain drugs, including HIV drugs, to a specialty tier. The result is that patients may have to pay hundreds of dollars a month for their HIV medication. I will be holding an oversight hearing on this issue to address this decision and how it impacts our residents living with HIV, as well as to explore solutions that will reverse this trend of increasing medical costs.
You can read coverage of the issue in the Bay Area Reporter here.