The expansion of Medicaid in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act is benefiting a program run by the state that prescribes medication to low-income patients with HIV and AIDS.
Kraig Humbaugh, senior deputy commissioner for the state’s Department of Public Health, on Wednesday told the Joint Committee for Health and Welfare that the state’s health insurance exchange under the ACA, known as Kynect, is providing more comprehensive treatment for those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.
“With the advent of expanded Medicaid, and through the new qualified insurance [program that is] available through Kynect, more clients are now transitioning from the ADAP program, or the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program, to be able to get comprehensive health insurance, and from our standpoint that’s a good thing,” Humbaugh said.
The department’s findings show that African-Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by the virus, mirroring a national trend. From 1982-2012, the number of patients living with HIV has increased exponentially, with just seven reported cases in the state in 1982, up to 5,600 as of 2012.