MIAMI (February 11, 2019) One hundred HIV/AIDS advocates from across the region will come out on Tuesday, February 12th at 11:00am to protest Anthem Insurance Company’s on-going denial of insurance coverage to individuals living with HIV that are receiving care from doctors they trust at healthcare centers operated by the nonprofit, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The protest will take place at the offices of Simply Healthcare dba Clear Health Alliance, (9250 W. Flagler Street, Miami), a subsidiary of Anthem in South Florida, that administers the Medicaid managed healthcare plan in South Florida.
WHAT: PROTEST AGAINST ANTHEM HEALTH INSURANCE 100 HIV/AIDS advocates will protest against Anthem Health Insurance and their ongoing denial to include in their network the physicians who have cared for close to 2,000 individuals living with HIV that are receiving ongoing, impactful care by those physicians at healthcare centers operated by the nonprofit, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
WHEN: Tuesday, FEBRUARY 12, 2019 11:00 AM ET
WHERE: Corporate Offices of Simply Healthcare Insurance
9250 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL
Note: Anthem Health Insurance does business in South Florida as Simply Healthcare
WHY: According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC), south Florida leads the nation in terms of new HIV diagnosis, and throughout the state has the largest concentration of those living with HIV. As the world’s largest, non-profit, HIV/AIDS service organization, with over 1 million patients in care, AHF has a proven record of keeping HIV patients in care and for ensuring they receive the array of sensitive services they need to stay alive. With the ongoing changes to Medicaid managed health care plans, Anthem’s denial of access to the HIV physician experts to those living with HIV who are currently receiving care from doctors they know and trust with their lives at AHF, will result in disruption to the continuum of the lifesaving care that the close to 2,000 HIV+ individuals have relied on to stay alive.
Following several attempts by AHF officials, as recent as last week, to reach an agreement with Anthem to ensure access to their HIV+ expert AHF doctors for close to 2,000 individuals living with HIV, Anthem has continued to deny this lifesaving access.
Following President Trump’s national commitment to eradicate HIV in the U.S. within 10 years, stated during his State of the Union address, Anthem’s denial of HIV primary care insurance access to HIV care for patients in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the epicenter of the HIV epidemic in the country, is counter-productive to comprehensively addressing this devastating epidemic. This action by Anthem removes patients’ choice in continuing with doctors they have come to trust and will directly result in a disruption to their care. AHF has made state officials at Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) aware of this issue, and they have continued to support Anthem’s actions.
“It is deplorable that Anthem has chosen to play with the lives of thousands of individuals living with HIV, and deny them the ability to continue with the doctors they trust,” stated Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief. “We demand that Anthem and state officials stop playing politics and cushioning the pockets of Anthem executives and put the lives of HIV patients first!”
Facts about HIV in Florida: (According to the Florida Department of Health)
- In 2016, Florida had an HIV case rate of 24.0 per 100,000 people which places the state at the third highest among states with the top 10 highest rates.
- Florida’s case rate was higher than the US average case rate of 12.3 per 100,000 people.
- Miami, FL and Ft. Lauderdale, FL take the top two rankings for metropolitan statistical areas with case rates of 47.0 and 40.1 respectively.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1,000,000 individuals in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare