(Bloomberg) — A quarter of plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act effectively discriminated against AIDS patients in 2014 by requiring high out-of-pocket payments for all HIV drugs in a key class, Harvard University researchers found.

Their small study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined AIDS drug costs in 48 plans under Obamacare in 12 states, including Florida, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Twelve of the plans from seven different insurers forced AIDS patients to pay 30 percent or more of the cost of all drugs in the class, a practice that may deter patients with HIV from enrolling in those plans.

The study also could have implications for people suffering from other diseases that require treatments with expensive drugs.

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