|Routine HIV Screening Coverage Act (H.R. 2137)|
Introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
The Routine HIV Screening Coverage Act requires private and government health insurance plans to cover routine HIV tests. Specifically, insurance plans must provide HIV tests with terms or conditions that are no less favorable than any other routine health screening. Also, the legislation would prohibit health plans from denying a patient continued eligibility to enroll or to renew coverage under the terms of the plan, solely because of the results of an HIV test or other HIV screening procedure.
Helping to identify the estimated 321,000 people infected with HIV in the United States who are unaware of their HIV status - which this bill would do - is a critical step in preventing new infections and treating those in need. Routine HIV testing is critical to maintaining healthy sexual relations, which include communication with partners, and ensuring that an individual receives the counseling and testing s/he needs to prevent HIV infection or to enroll in care and treatment services if HIV-positive. Despite CDC recommendations that routine HIV testing in healthcare settings should be provided for all people aged 13 to 64, these recommendations have not been implemented.
Many people forego testing because they cannot afford it and this is disproportionately the case in minority communities in the United States - and around the world. The rate of undiagnosed HIV infection among African Americans is nine times that among whites, and the rate for Hispanics is nearly three times that among whites.
This bill was introduced in the House on April 28, 2009, by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Government Reform. On June 4, 2009, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Learn more by seeing the full text of the bill and a complete list of co-sponsors.
Right now, we need to build strong bipartisan support for this legislation to hep ensure that all people have access to critical testing services and nformation.
Contact your Representative today and ask her or him to co-sponsor the Routine HIV Screening Coverage Act (H.R. 2137). Find your Representative's contact information.Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing of Adults, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women in Health-Care Settings