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Insurers Forced to Take Ryan White Funds for HIV Patients

Insurers nationwide must allow people with HIV and AIDS to use money from the federal Ryan White program to pay their monthly premiums, the government said today in a regulatory filing.

The rule was announced after three Louisiana insurers and one North Dakota insurer said they would stop taking funds from the taxpayer-supported program. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state’s largest insurer, stopped taking checks in January, prompting a lawsuit in federal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, claiming the insurers were rejecting funds so they wouldn’t have to cover HIV patients, who tend to be sicker and high utilizers of health care.