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Mon Jan 29, 2018, 03:36 PM

Publix Grocery Chain Denies PrEP Coverage to Its Employees

http://www.thebody.com/content/80784/publix-grocery-chain-denies-prep-coverage-to-its-e.html

Some parts of the country have weather that signals the arrival of the winter holiday season, but the South has Publix commercials. The Florida-based grocery store chain has made a Christmas tradition of its sentimental short films exalting family, fireplaces, and food bought from its stores and prepared with your love. "Whatever your tradition may be, we're grateful to be a part of it," a narrator with a delicate rasp says in the 2017 ad, "Traditions. A Publix Christmas story."

However, Publix is showing a cooler, less compassionate side to some of its 188,000 employees. One of the more prominent supermarket brands in the southeast, it has taken a hard line against including the HIV-prevention medication known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the insurance coverage it offers workers. But it remains a mystery whether the company is blocking coverage for PrEP due to cost concerns or the growing cry of employers (such as Hobby Lobby) that don't want to cover medical care for issues or people they deem morally objectionable.

The company's rejection of what is widely considered a major breakthrough in HIV prevention is as unique as it is puzzling, said David Holland, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University and director of the Fulton County PrEP clinic in Atlanta, who unsuccessfully tried to get Publix to cover PrEP for one of the company's employees. "We've started over 400 people on PrEP at our clinic alone, and this is the only person that we weren't able to get PrEP for," Holland said.

Publix representatives were contacted numerous times for an explanation of the company's decision, and they responded with a brief statement noting that "the health plans offered by Publix provide generous medical and prescription coverage." "Annually, we evaluate benefits covered under our health plans," Publix spokesperson Brenda Reid wrote in the statement. "There are numerous medications covered by the plan used in the treatment of HIV." "There are some medications that have coverage limitations or require prior authorization," Reid added. "Any Publix associate with questions regarding his or her coverage can contact our benefits department directly."

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Reply Publix Grocery Chain Denies PrEP Coverage to Its Employees (Original post)
dlwickham Jan 2018 OP
RKP5637 Jan 2018 #1
Ms. Toad Jan 2018 #2

Response to dlwickham (Original post)

Mon Jan 29, 2018, 03:39 PM

1. HIV affects everyone. Hard to see why they would take this backward stand. n/t

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Response to dlwickham (Original post)

Mon Jan 29, 2018, 03:44 PM

2. Heck of a lot cheaper to prevent HIV infection

than to treat it.

Nose. Spite. Face.

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