Ropes & Gray Secures Relief for People Living with HIV in Danger of Losing Health Insurance
In partnership with Lambda Legal, a national organization committed to advancing LGBT rights, and New Orleans-based Phelps Dunbar, a Ropes & Gray pro bono team secured important relief for low-income Louisianans living with HIV. In response to our team’s class action complaint and a successful motion for a temporary restraining order, granted by the court on February 24, 2014, three Louisiana health insurance companies participating in the exchange established under the Affordable Care Act agreed in open court to continue accepting federal Ryan White funds until April 1. The court scheduled an evidentiary hearing for March 10, 2014 to determine whether those three Louisiana health insurance companies should be enjoined and ordered to continue accepting Ryan White funds after April 1 while the litigation is pending. Ryan White funds include premium subsidies that enable low-income individuals living with HIV to purchase health insurance. Earlier in the month, the Ropes & Gray team partnered with Lambda Legal to file a federal class-action discrimination lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Louisiana Health Cooperative, and Vantage Health Plan in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The suit challenges a decision made by all three plans to decline the Ryan White funds near the end of open enrollment on the exchange and after previously accepting them without reservation. The Ropes & Gray team is led by business & securities litigation partner Jeffrey Bushofsky (Chicago).