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New York Insurance Companies Now Required to Cover PrEP

Photo by cottonbro studio

Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law into effect to combat HIV's spread.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York signed a law that requires insurance companies to cover pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a means to prevent HIV infection.

“New York was once the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we have a moral obligation to keep up the fight to end the epidemic once and for all,” Hochul said in a statement. “PrEP and PEP are critical tools that help prevent new HIV infections and every eligible New Yorker should have access to these vital medications.”

New York’s Spectrum Local Newsreported that the new effort to combat HIV comes after the state has dropped the ball over the last few years, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state made a commitment to end the epidemic in 2014, but saw massive increases in infections between 2020 and 2021.

The new law will require insurance policies to cover the cost for PrEP, which can greatly reduce risk of HIV infection for individuals at high-risk of infection.

“Widening access to PrEP and PEP, which prevent new infections, will help stop the spread [of HIV]," State Senator Brad Hoylman said in a statement. “With this bill signing, New York is renewing its commitment to public health, especially in the LGBTQ community.”

Hochul’s office said New York had the highest PrEP coverage in the country, with more people receiving treatment than any jurisdiction.

“The epidemic isn’t over,” said Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell. “This is a bill that helps LGBTQ people, communities of color, and anyone at higher risk of HIV exposure by ensuring that lack of insurance coverage will never be the barrier to accessing PEP and PrEP.”

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