Maine Eyes Easier Access To Hiv Prevention Drugs

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine is considering a proposal to require health insurance providers to expand their coverage of HIV prevention drugs.

Democratic Sen. Heather Sanborn, of Portland, submitted the proposal, which was the subject of a hearing before the Maine Legislature's Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Sanborn said her proposal would require state-regulated health insurance providers to cover at least one HIV prevention drug.

Sanborn's proposal would also require at least one such drug to be available without prior authorization. She said it would also create a process in which some pharmacists could dispense up to 60 days of HIV prevention medication to someone who lacks a prescription from a doctor.

HIV prevention medications include drugs as as PrEP and PEP. Sanborn said “we are incredibly fortunate to have highly effective medication that can not only treat HIV, but actually prevent someone from contracting it in the first place.”

The proposal would face more consideration in committee.

Sanborn has previously advocated for the Maine Insurance Code to be updated to prohibit the denial or limitation of life insurance coverage for people who take the medications.