Lambda Legal has filed suit in federal court against Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), alleging the insurance company's decision to reject third-party payments from non-related parties puts people's lives in jeopardy, and are seeking an emergency injunction.
The suite comes after BCBS sent letters to patients notifying them their AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) subsidies will not be accepted. Two other Louisiana-based insurers, Louisiana Health Cooperative and Vantage Health, have stated they will follow in BCBS's footsteps.
"The situation is urgent," said Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal. "Refusing federal funds that provide life-saving care to people living with HIV could potentially affect thousands of low-income Louisiana residents. This discriminatory policy keeps low-income people living with HIV off of BlueCross BlueShield's insurance rolls, perpetuating the deliberate insurance industry practice of denying coverage to those living with HIV that the Affordable Care Act was designed to reverse. Continuous coverage is critical for people living with HIV. The health care crisis these insurers have created must be stopped."
Read Lambda Legal's press release about the suit HERE, and BCBS's statement HERE.