On June 11, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force gave a Grade A rating to a drug proven to slow the spread of HIV: Preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This daily pill’s prohibitive U.S. costs (as high as $2,000 per month, while generics typically cost less than $100 in other countries) have kept it out of the hands of those who need it most for decades. With the new rating, most insurance companies will be required to cover PrEP, plus lab work and clinic visits related to PrEP, with no deductibles or copays, starting January 2021.
Though individuals with insurance will have greater access to the drug, some HIV specialists have noted that the health gap between insured and uninsured people will likely widen. Gay and bisexual men and African-American and Latino people are at the highest risk for contracting HIV, and remain uninsured at higher rates than straight or non-Hispanic white people.