What is a Ryan White grant and who is Ryan White?

Ryan White grants are federal funding awarded through the Ryan White Care Act to assist with medical care and support of people with HIV/AIDS and their families. The Ryan White Care Act was signed into law on August 15, 1990, and it was named after an Indiana teenager who was a public educator for HIV/AIDS after he became infected with HIV. White died the same year that this legislation was passed.

Can I receive services through the WVU Positive Health Clinic if I don’t have insurance?

Yes, you can obtain services. There are a few steps you must take in order to receive financial assistance. You need to complete paperwork, including a Ryan White Part C or D eligibility application and a financial application from WVU Medicine. In addition to the applications, patients are asked to submit pay stubs, bank account statements, tax returns, a Medicaid denial, and a prescription drug list as applicable. Currently, WVU Medicine can assist patients making up to 200 percent of the current poverty level. Ryan White funding can also assist as a payer of last resort for patients at any income level. A patient may be required to pay some medical bills that relate to their HIV/AIDS care out of their own pocket before Ryan White funding will assist. The amount to be paid out of pocket depends on the patient’s income. See the program director or financial counselor to find out your eligibility for financial assistance.

Am I able to get medications through the Positive Health Clinic if I don’t have insurance?

Usually, there are ways to obtain assistance for medications. You can apply for Medicaid at your local Department of Health and Human Resources, fill out an AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) application, contact your local HIV Ryan White Part B case manager, enroll in a patient assistance program through the individual drug companies, and apply for Ryan White Part C or D assistance.

What if I am sick and the clinic is closed?

If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Am I eligible for a disability check and/or Medicaid if I am HIV positive?

Having HIV alone does not qualify a person for disability benefits. It depends on whether the individual has been sick due to HIV and if the individual has had difficulty working due to physical health or mental health problems. You can contact your local Social Security office or 1-800-772-1213 to obtain information on whether or not to apply for benefits.

Is my medical information kept confidential?

The confidentiality of your health information is monitored closely. All staff of the Positive Health Clinic and WVU Medicine are required to follow guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act is a federal policy that sets standards for privacy, security, and electronic transmission of healthcare information. There are certain instances where your health information can be released without your consent, including when it is ordered by a federal, state, or local law or when reporting is needed for public health and safety. These instances and others are listed in the notice of privacy practices booklet that you will receive at your appointment. If you are ever concerned that your privacy has been violated you may make a complaint by calling the WVU Medicine Compliance Department at 1-877-298-4376.

Who can medical staff talk to about medical care when I am not available?

You need to sign a release of information in the clinic or give verbal permission for the medical staff to talk to anyone other than yourself about your medical care. The release of information can specify what information can be released to this person. If you have a medical power of attorney and a doctor determines that you do not have capacity to make medical decisions, your medical information could be shared with your medical power of attorney. In a situation where you do not have capacity to make medical decisions and have not completed a medical power of attorney, a healthcare surrogate may be appointed by your doctor to make medical decisions for you. A healthcare surrogate is appointed through a checklist that identifies potential surrogates including a guardian, a spouse, a child, parents, siblings, grandchildren, a close friend, or the state. Careful consideration is given to determine the best person to make decisions, and a court order can be obtained if there are any objections.