Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS who are currently enrolled in Medicare and receiving medications through the Ryan White HIV Drug Assistance Program (HDAP) should enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription plan soon.
“Ryan White drug benefits for these individuals will end on April 15,” remarked John Senter, Medical Care Management Supervisor at Nashville’s Comprehensive Care Center. “By getting a Part D plan in place, they can maintain access to this life-saving treatment.”
Federal regulations require states to move this category of patients to Medicare Part D. A working group of advocates from across Tennessee is once again urging those affected to make an appointment with a Medical Care Manager as soon as possible. Patients who don’t know who to call can find out via the Tennessee AIDS hotline at 1-800-525-AIDS (1-800-525-2437).
Participants may be responsible for premiums, deductibles and co-pays, depending on a number of factors. Financial assistance for these costs is available to those who qualify, but an additional application is required. “Getting signed up can be a challenge, but it also presents important opportunities,” commented Mark Hubbard, the interim chair of the Tennessee Association of People With AIDS. “Medical Care Managers have been solving problems and advocating for us since Part D enrollment began, and they are uniquely qualified to provide assistance."
The Tennessee Medicare Part D HIV/AIDS Working Group was formed to address the complex challenge of integrating the new Medicare drug benefit with the existing system of care for Tennesseans living with HIV/AIDS. It is made up of experienced professionals and volunteers who currently work on the front lines of HIV care and services across Tennessee.