One of the country’s largest insurance providers was ordered to no longer discriminate against Massachusetts residents who use PrEP.
Fenway Health reports in a press release that Mutual of Omaha has finally agreed to change its policies following an investigation and a lawsuit from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. This case was spurred by those who have been denied coverage.
Here’s a breaking news story I wrote up for @Into about a lawsuit settlement between a man who was denied long-term care coverage by his insurance company for taking PrEP. (Spoiler: it has a happy ending.) https://t.co/Bcn9SRc1hf
— J.E. Reich (@jereichwrites) January 8, 2019
“Multiple studies have long shown that Truvada is an incredibly effective way to prevent the transmission of HIV, and it is standard to offer it to gay men and others at high risk of infection,” said Kenneth H. Mayer, M.D., medical research director and co-chair of The Fenway Institute. “Mutual of Omaha’s categorical exclusion of Truvada users from life and long-term care insurance was irrational and based on a gross misunderstanding of how HIV gets transmitted.”
“Throughout the 35 years we’ve been fighting AIDS, we’ve learned that access to medicine and health care isn’t enough. Even when science unambiguously shows the way, we have needed legal advocacy to protect the health of our community,” Mayer added. “We’re incredibly grateful to GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office for taking this on.”
“Ken has been working in this field since day one of the epidemic. His detailed and comprehensive knowledge of PrEP and HIV prevention, coupled with his ability to clearly and directly explain the science, were instrumental in this process,” said GLAD AIDS Law Project Director Ben Klein.
Massachusetts released an official statement that claims the company “has revised its underwriting practices to ensure that it does not deny, rate, or otherwise take any adverse action against any Massachusetts resident who applies for any type of accident, life, sickness, or health insurance with Mutual of Omaha, including long-term care insurance, based on the applicant’s use of Truvada for PrEP.”