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New bill makes Calif. first in nation to require coverage for HIV screening

By | September 30, 2008 | Briefs

California is now the first state in the nation to require every health care service plan and health insurer to provide coverage for HIV testing, regardless of whether the testing is related to a primary diagnosis.

This is due to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signing of Assembly Bill 1894 by Assemblyman Paul Krekorian earlier today.

The Governor highlighted, in his signing message, the alarming data by the Centers for Disease Control showing the underestimation of the HIV epidemic in the United States over the last decade.

The Governor also noted that preventing the spread of the infection made for a healthier California, and the cost-effectiveness of providing coverage for testing compared to the cost of lifelong treatment for someone who contracts the virus from someone who does not know their status.

AB 1894 comes on the heels of legislation the Governor signed last year fundamentally changing the strategy on preventing further spread of the disease. In conjunction with that legislation, California now becomes the first state to provide routine HIV screening to all patients whether they are showing symptoms or not.

“With the Governor’s signature of AB 1894 today, California once again has demonstrated its global leadership in developing innovative policies to fight the HIV pandemic,” said Assemblymember Krekorian. “This legislation will set the standard throughout the nation by making HIV screening a routine part of ordinary preventive health care.”

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