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Insurance payment changes affecting HIV/AIDS patients

By March 1st, hundreds of patients insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield will have to change the way they pay their premiums.

By March 1st, hundreds of patients insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield will have to change the way they pay their premiums.

The company says it's trying to fight fraud by no longer accepting third party payments.

Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson John Maginnis says it's to prevent fraud.

They want to make sure all policies are held by individuals and aren't duplicated policies.

Maginnis couldn't give an exact number, but he says hundreds of policyholders will be affected.

The Philadelphia Center in Shreveport says that includes their 400 HIV/AIDS patients and patients across the state.

That's because most of them make payments through the Ryan-White Program, a third party that helps pay for premiums and medications for patients who can't afford insurance on their own.

Blue Cross Blue Shield says none of the patients will lose their coverage, benefits or services in any way.

"This is going to create a huge chasim for people to try to get covered and or find other alternatives for their health care," says Eric Evans, Advocacy Coordinator with the Philadelphia Center.

But the Philadelphia Center says by changing the payment option that puts their HIV/AIDS clients in a bind.

They'll have to make sudden changes to get access to the medicine and care that they need.

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