The Impact of Mental Health Conditions on Public Insurance Costs of Treating HIV/ AIDS

January 31, 2023

Medicare and Medicaid insurance claims data for Californians living with HIV are analyzed in order to determine: (1)The prevalence of treatment for particular mental health diagnoses among people living with HIV (PLWH) with Medicare or Medicaid insurance in 2010; (2)The relationship between individual mental health conditions and total medical care expenditures; (3)The impact of individual mental health diagnoses on the cost of treating non-mental health conditions; and (4)The implications of the cost of mental health diagnoses for setting managed care capitation payments. We find that the prevalence of mental health conditions among PLWH is high (23% among Medicare and 28% among Medicaid enrollees). PLWH with mental health conditions have significantly higher treatment costs for both mental health and non-mental health conditions. Setting managed care capitations that account for these greater expenditures is necessary to preserve access to both mental health and physical health services for PLWH and mental health conditions.