La. HIV patients have difficulty getting insurance

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People in Louisiana with HIV or AIDS are facing roadblocks in getting health insurance through the online marketplace created under the federal health law.

Most participating insurance companies say they won’t accept payment from a federal program that helps the patients cover their health costs.

The decision started with the largest insurer offering coverage to Louisianians through the federal marketplace: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Blue Cross spokesman John Maginnis says the company on March 1 will stop accepting payments from unrelated third parties for an individual, because of fraud concerns. The Louisiana Health Cooperative followed suit. Vantage Health Plan says if those companies continue that policy, it will have to follow their lead.

People living with HIV and AIDS accuse the companies of discrimination against costly patients.