Policy Brief

How Can California Overcome Barriers to Expanding CARE/HIPP Enrollment?

February 1, 2011

The Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency/Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (CARE/HIPP) subsidizes private insurance premiums for low income persons living with HIV (PLWH) who are disabled and unable to work. Many of these PLWH would otherwise be eligible to receive medication through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Cost-benefit analyses demonstrate that it costs more than twice as much to provide HIV drugs through ADAP as through CARE/HIPP. Thus, expanding CARE/HIPP enrollments could relieve pressure on ADAP budgets. This Policy Brief proposes policy changes needed to overcome barriers to increased CARE/HIPP enrollments, including: 1) Aligning eligibility requirements for ADAP and CARE/HIPP, particularly removing the disability requirement for CARE/HIPP; 2) raising or eliminating the premium cap; 3) increasing awareness and accessibility of the CARE/HIPP program; 4) expanding private insurance options for PLWH, including use of high risk pools.