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What can I do if I live in the U.S. and the insurance co-pay for my hepatitis B drugs costs too much for me to buy them?

While health insurance plans can’t openly reject people with hepatitis B, some have created a way to keep people from buying their policies. They have done this by dramatically increasing out-of-pocket costs for consumers. This deliberately makes their health plans unaffordable for people with hepatitis B, who may have to pay as much as 50% of the cost of their medication despite having insurance. Read our HepB Blog for more information about this issue.  

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) has also created a comprehensive report to help consumers identify factors to consider when choosing a health insurance plan and trends that may increase a person’s out-of-pocket treatment costs. Read the report here. You may also want to consult our webpage that discusses possible actions to take if someone is facing discriminatory practices by health insurance companies.

Learn more about how to research drug prices on the healthcare marketplace (www.healthcare.gov). Download a free template to file a complaint with your state’s Bureau of Insurance and the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Civil Rights Office about health plan over-pricing of the hepatitis B antivirals [Vemlidy (tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)), Viread (tenofovir disoproxil (TDF)) and generic entecavir]. Read our instructions here.

You can also check our page on “Medication Assistance Programs in the U.S.” that lists several sources of medication assistance through online pharmacies and patient support programs by some pharmaceutical companies. Most programs have eligibility criteria to benefit from them, so please check those criteria to see if you are eligible to enroll.  Some may find that prices available with online pharmacies are cheaper than using insurance.