News

2016 legislative agenda seeks bold steps toward HIV prevention, treatment

February 16, 2016

This page is archived and may not contain current information or working links.

Given Illinois' state budget woes, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) seeks to protect and preserve vital HIV/AIDS prevention, education, housing and treatment services, and ensure that providers are fully paid for services rendered under contract with the state during the budget impasse.

Furthermore, AFC aims to ensure adequate funding for critical services including mental health and substance abuse treatment, supportive housing and child care.  In addition, AFC is working with coalition partners to build support to solve Illinois’ budget crisis, prevent harmful cuts to essential services, save jobs, eliminate the state’s long-term structural deficit and make taxes fairer.

With the statewide rollout of Medicaid managed care, Medicaid is the largest payer of HIV care in Illinois, and thousands of people with HIV have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. We are advancing innovations in health services and contemporizing regulatory structures to improve the lives of people living with HIV in the Medicaid program. 

Lastly, we’re proposing new innovative ways to prevent new HIV infections and increase better health outcomes for people with HIV.

Fund HIV prevention and care services
Governor Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly have not passed a budget in eight months (and counting). The budget impasse continues to devastate the HIV and social service sector, ripping holes in the safety net that serves the needs of the state's most vulnerable citizens. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) seeks to protect and preserve vital HIV/AIDS prevention, education, housing and treatment services, and ensure that providers are fully paid for services rendered under contract with the state during the budget impasse. Furthermore, AFC aims to ensure adequate funding for critical services including mental health and substance abuse treatment, supportive housing and child care.

Mandated insurance coverage for HIV prevention medication (HB 4554)
PrEP is a once-a-day HIV prevention pill that is up to 99% effective when taken consistently. This bill would mandate Medicaid and private insurers provide coverage for all drugs that are approved for HIV prevention by the federal Food and Drug Administration and the clinical program associated with the administration of PrEP including medical monitoring,labs and counseling to reduce HIV infection.

Re-establish funding for PrEP41L
Gov. Rauner's proposed budget for FY 2016 also cut funding for PrEP4111inois, a program aimed at increasing access to pre-exposure  prophylaxis  (PrEP) to help HIV-negative people remain   uninfected.

Extend the Quality of Life (Red Ribbon Cash) scratch-off  lottery (SB 2397 I HB 4987)
The bill would extend the  expiration date of the Quality of Life (Red Ribbon Cash) scratch-off lottery for an additional eight years. The Quality of Life Ticket is sold at Illinois Lottery retail locations across the state. Net revenue from the sale of Quality of Life tickets is awarded to organizations in Illinois for the purpose of funding HIV prevention, education and treatment programs in communities.

Empowering Meaningful Patient Choice in Medicaid Managed Care (HB 6213)
The statewide rollout of Medicaid managed care has interrupted health care access for vulnerable Illinoisans because of low health literacy and incomplete information from plans. The bill would improve health literacy of Medicaid managed care enrollees and make provider directories and prescription drug lists reliable, useful and accurate.

Medicaid access monitoring act (HB 5559)
Many Medicaid recipients report problems finding doctors and specialists. The bill requires the state to directly test a sample of each Medicaid managed care plan's provider network to ensure contact information is accurate, that the providers listed are participating and accepting new patients, and determine the wait time to obtain an initial  appointment.

Reporting on HIV Quality Metrics in Managed Care (HB 5524)
Medicaid is the largest payer of HIV care in Illinois, and thousands of people with HIV have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. As recommended by the federal government, the bill requires Medicaid managed care plans to report annually on the percentage of their members with undetectable viral loads, meaning their HIV is successfully treated. National reports indicate that up to half of Medicaid recipients are not virally suppressed, leading to poor health outcomes and more new HIV cases.

Access to affordable medications
A coalition is seeking to remove barriers to lifesaving medication in Illinois due to skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs. The bill would limit a patient's copayment and coinsurance for their prescribed specialty drugs.

Join our community of activists. Go to aidschicago.org/stayinformed to sign up for our Online Action Bulletins!

Categorized under Advocacy and Illinois.

Recommended Articles