HIV patients get temporary reprieve with lawsuit
BATON ROUGE - A federal judge has received assurances that three insurance companies won't immediately stop accepting premium payments from a federal program that helps HIV and AIDS patients cover costs.
After receiving the pledge that no payments would be rejected before April 1, U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson lifted his temporary restraining order Tuesday prohibiting the dropped coverage.
Jackson plans a March 10 hearing on whether to issue a long-term prohibition.
Lambda Legal, an HIV/AIDS advocacy group, filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, the Louisiana Health Cooperative and Vantage Health Plan because of the companies' plans to stop accepting third-party payments.
Blue Cross says it has fraud concerns about the payments. The other companies had said they planned to follow the lead of Louisiana's largest health insurer.
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