Facing Complaints, BCBS of North Carolina Shifts HIV Drugs to Lower Tiers

Two patient advocacy groups are declaring victory after Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina made midyear formulary changes that shifted several HIV treatments from higher to lower tiers, meaning patients can access them at much lower cost-sharing levels.

In an Aug. 31 press release, the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network pointed out that the move came after they filed discrimination complaints with the North Carolina Dept. of Insurance and HHS’s Office for Civil Rights arguing that the Blue Cross NC formulary violated the Affordable Care Act’s prohibitions against discriminatory plan design. The formulary in question is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Essential Formulary, which applies to ACA marketplace plans sold in the state.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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