Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

Insurance Question

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LoboDog:
Hey, I have Blue Cross Blue Shield... on my last 2 sets of exams they did not pay for lab work to determine my viral load.... Is this common? Just seems like it would be a required test for someone with HIV... any help is appreciated.

phildinftlaudy:

--- Quote from: LoboDog on January 12, 2013, 09:35:55 AM ---Hey, I have Blue Cross Blue Shield... on my last 2 sets of exams they did not pay for lab work to determine my viral load.... Is this common? Just seems like it would be a required test for someone with HIV... any help is appreciated.

--- End quote ---

All insurance plans are different - but I would think that if they are doing CD4, they should also be doing VL. I have Aetna and doc orders both as part of my labs every three months and both are always covered. The actual amount Aetna has to pay for it is pretty small (just a few dollars) - even though Quest bills it at a substantially higher.

Have you put a call in to your insurance company?
Now, when it comes to Lipid panel, my insurance will only cover that every 6 months - so, doc only orders it every other blood draw.

Iggy:
I have BCBS as well and I think they do actually have some kind of qualifications on # of VL tests.

I emphasize the word think because I was in a trial for the once a day Viramune for about 14 months but I vaguely remember at some point after the trial (and when I was back to insurance) my first or second blood work didn't include VL for some insurance reason.

I was undetectable for a while so didn't really think much about it at the time.   I may be completely wrong here and agree with phildinftlaudy that it's worth double checking with the BCBS.

Miss Philicia:
When I was on private insurance the only time viral load was limited was maybe the first year or two when the test was first available in the late 90's. And I had them done frequently from 1997-2006 because my viral load wasn't suppressed, so at least six per year maybe more. And half of that was on BCBS.

I know that they do, generally, limit the number of geno/phenotype tests in a calendar year but those are much more expensive.

I've never had issues on Medicare for viral load tests.

Denver Toad:
Lobo,

I too have BCBS (OF Tennessee) our plan is limited to two VL tests per year. When I had BCBS in Colorado VL was a quarterly benefit. I'm guessing it's very much plan dependent. Best way to determine is a phone call.

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