Rhode Island has revised its Medicaid policy to cover the cost of treatment for people living with the Hepatitis C virus.
Until now, individuals with the potentially deadly blood-borne virus could only receive coverage if they experienced severe liver damage or cirrhosis. The Providence Journal reports the change follows an upwelling of support to bring the state into compliance with federal guidelines.
The state health department has estimated as many as 22,660 Rhode Islanders have the virus. Medicaid Director Patrick Tigue says the new policy ensures people will have the medical care they need.
The Rhode Island Center for Justice says the policy change will directly improve the lives of many of its clients.