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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
HIV/AIDS Programs

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Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program & the Affordable Care Act

Working Together to Ensure Optimal HIV Care and Treatment for People Living with HIV

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program plays an essential role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which supports and strengthens the safety net of HIV care and treatment available to people living with HIV (PLWH).  Implementation of the Affordable Care Act helps cities, states, and providers stretch their Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program resources, build a comprehensive system of care for low-income PLWH and achieve the public health mandate of the Program.

The Affordable Care Act helps PLWH served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program in several ways:

  • Pre-existing Conditions - Health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, including HIV.
  • Medicaid Expansion - Some states opted to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health care coverage to more low-income people, many of whom are PLWH who are Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients.  In states that expanded Medicaid, the proportion of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients enrolled in the program went up to 42.7%.
  • Marketplace Coverage - The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program encourages grant recipients to provide health insurance premium, deductible, and co-pay assistance to clients when it is cost-effective.
  • Essential Community Providers - Providers serving low-income, medically-underserved clients, including Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers, must be included  "in-network" of the qualified health plans available through the state and federally-facilitated marketplaces.  The HIV/AIDS Bureau encourages Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program providers to enroll themselves as essential community providers.


Essential Community Providers