Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AFAN Shoulders Increased Client Health Insurance Costs

With Nevada’s unemployment rate reaching 9.1 percent, Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) has faced a 60 percent increase in Health Insurance Program (HIP) expenses between Nov. 2008 and Jan. 2009.

In November, the agency paid approximately $19,000 to support clients on this program. In January, these expenses reached $31,000.

“While this is a tremendous financial challenge, we recognize the growing need in the community,” said Jennifer Morss, executive director for AFAN. "We only hope to do everything we can to meet the needs of our clients."

As community needs increase, Morss still encourages clients to talk to their case managers about eligibility for programs such as HIP. Specifically, HIP will pay COBRA premiums and co-pays for clients’ Antiretrovirals (ARVs) and any medications needed to help cope with the side effects of the ARVs.

Clients who are eligible for Ryan White Part A (RWPA) are also eligible for the HIP program. AFAN expects to see continued cost increases for this program and other services until the state begins to realize an economic recovery. The nonprofit has also experienced significant increases in housing, transportation, and food voucher programs.

As long as AFAN can count on generous support from the community, Morss is confident the nonprofit can meet demands. We're all in this together, she said.

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