Congratulations on making the decision to start PrEP!
PrEP is an excellent option for those who are currently not living with HIV and are looking to remain HIV-negative. Starting any new medication can be intimidating, but we are here to make this process as easy and comfortable as possible.
PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) is a once-daily pill that is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV, and even more effective when used with condoms and other prevention methods.
PrEP includes taking medication, getting regular HIV/STI testing, and having open conversations with a medical provider. To learn more about PrEP in general, visit our FAQ.
Steps to Getting PrEP with Nurx
1. REQUEST PREP
You first start your PrEP journey by placing a request either on our app or our website. It’s quick, easy and straightforward – we ask basic health questions to ensure you’re safely prescribed PrEP.
2. UPLOAD YOUR INSURANCE INFORMATION
When completing your request, we will ask for your insurance information. We need both your medical card (for lab work) and prescription benefits card (for the medication). Don’t have insurance? That’s ok! We can still help you.
3. REVIEW THIS GUIDE
Once you submit your request and are waiting to hear from our amazing care team and medical providers, we encourage you to read our “Getting Started on PrEP” page. Since you’re already here (congrats!), you will find that this guide will help answer many important questions about insurance, lab work, payment assistance programs, and more.
4. GET YOUR PrEP COVERED
PrEP is expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to pay for all of it. Please take 15 minutes to review our “Paying for PrEP” and “Payment Assistance Programs” sections. Answering a few short questions could save you (literally) thousands of dollars.
5. HEAR FROM OUR TEAM
Our medical providers and care team will reach out to confirm your request, answer any health questions you may have, and submit your lab order. We will mail you a home lab kit right away (if you ordered one) or will send your lab order to your preferred lab location.
6. COMPLETE YOUR LAB WORK
You can go to get your labs drawn at your convenience once you receive confirmation from us for your lab order. For more information, read our “Completing your lab work” section below.
7. GET YOUR RESULTS
Your lab results will automatically be sent to us within 5 to 7 business days. A medical provider will reach out to discuss your results.
8. YOUR ORDER HAS SHIPPED
Once you chat with a medical provider about your results, your order will be sent to one of our partner pharmacies. You will receive tracking information and notifications of when your order has been processed/shipped. Your order will arrive via FedEx with a signature requirement.
9. RENEW YOUR PRESCRIPTION
Your PrEP prescription needs to be renewed every 3 months. We will reach out to you in advance to update your health questionnaire and complete your lab work.
10. GET EXCITED!
PrEP is a great way to take control of your health. Thank you for trusting Nurx with your healthcare!
Paying for PrEP
Now that you have requested PrEP through Nurx, it’s time to make sure you’re paying as little for PrEP as possible. PrEP is expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to pay for all of it. Often PrEP is covered by insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. We recommend contacting your insurance company and asking the following questions:
Is a medication called Truvada® covered under my plan?
What is my deductible? And does it apply to lab work and Truvada® ?
How much is my copay for this prescription per month?
Do I need Prior Authorization (PA) to receive Truvada®?
Once you know how much PrEP will cost with your insurance coverage, please click to learn more about what payment assistance programs you may qualify for. If you currently reside in the United States and make less than $48,240 per year, you may be eligible for additional benefits.
Now that you have requested PrEP through Nurx, it’s time to make sure you’re paying as little for PrEP as possible. PrEP is expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to pay for all of it. If you currently reside in the United States and make less than $60,300 (or 500% FPL), please click to learn more about how to enroll in a payment assistance program.
For those who have no experience with payment assistance programs, they can definitely be daunting. We’re here to help you work through them and make PrEP as affordable as possible for you. Before you begin, you will need the following information: your annual income and your insurance information (if you have insurance).
There are three main payment assistance programs Nurx often works with: the Gilead Co-Pay Card, Gilead’s Advancing Access, and the Patient Advocate Foundation.
Gilead Co-Pay Card
Everyone with commercial insurance (no Medicaid or Medicare) should do this.
This card is available to anyone with insurance and provides $4,800 per year towards the cost of Truvada/PrEP, with no monthly limit. It can be used for copays, coinsurance, or for high deductible plans.
- What you will need: Your insurance information
- Important Information: Apply for Truvada HIV-1 Prevention,
- Apply Online Here: https://www.gileadadvancingaccess.com/copay-coupon-card
- After you apply: Once you submit the application, take a screenshot of your new co-pay card and upload it in your account as a second insurance card. If you need help, you can also message it directly to us.
For specific questions regarding the Gilead Co-Pay card, please call: (800) 226-2056
Advancing Access is a program that assists uninsured, underinsured, and some Medicare patients by covering the costs (or gaps in cost) for Truvada/PrEP. Patients must have income equal to or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (2017/2018: $60,300) to qualify.
- What you will need: Proof of income (W2, tax return, last 2 pay stubs, or a letter outlining income – this does not need to be notarized) and any insurance information you may have.
- Apply online here: https://www.gileadadvancingaccess.com/get-started-advancing-access
- After you apply: This program requires more information and signature from a medical provider here at Nurx. Please send us the application completed as much as you’re able and we’ll be in touch shortly.
For specific questions regarding Gilead’s Advancing Access Program, please call: (800) 226-2056
Patient Advocate Foundation
As long as insurance covers some portion of the medication and you earn up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (2017/2018: $48,240/year), this group will provide up to $7,500 for co-pay and coinsurance assistance.
- What you will need: your social security number, your annual household income, your insurance/Medicaid information.
- Apply online here: https://www.copays.org/patients
- After you apply: Once you submit the application, refresh the page after a couple of minutes for links to important documents to appear. Your award letter and amount will be found here. Make sure to download and send the Diagnosis Verification form to Nurx for a provider to complete as soon as possible.
For specific questions regarding PAF, please call: (866) 512-3861
Completing the lab work
Before you can start PrEP, you will need to complete lab work. We know getting labs done isn’t the most enjoyable process, but it’s important to know your status and will help keep you and your partner(s) healthy.
If you decide to get tested at a public health department, local clinic, or with a nonprofit group, all test results will need to be faxed to us directly from that health office within 5 business days.
Please also let us know if it’s okay to notify you by telephone in the case you have an abnormal lab result. If telephone notification is not acceptable, the health department may follow up with you for an in-person visit to discuss your lab results.
What you will be tested for:
- Kidney Function
- Hepatitis B
- STI – Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis (optional, but we highly recommend this.)
- Pregnancy (if applicable)
Why these tests are important:
- HIV: You must have a negative HIV test in order to begin PrEP as that is what the medication is preventing. If you test positive for HIV, Truvada alone will not be helpful for you.
- Kidney Function (Creatinine): Like many other medications, Truvada for PrEP can put an additional strain on a patient’s kidneys In very rare cases, Truvada for PrEP has caused kidney damage that requires patients to stop taking PrEP. Thankfully, this damage can heal once someone stops taking PrEP
- Hepatitis B: Truvada is active against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Truvada for PrEP is still an option for people living with HBV, but some more medical oversight may be necessary to avoid negative interactions.
- STI tests: The risks you have for HIV are often the same for many STIs. Regular testing for curable infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis ensure you get treated early and don’t have to worry about long-term side effects. Plus, it keeps your partner(s) healthy.
- Pregnancy: For people who are at risk for pregnancy,
WHAT TO EXPECT
Our team is knowledgeable and passionate about PrEP. We have licensed medical providers, real pharmacies, work with most insurance plans, and a care team dedicated to making your experience with Nurx as enjoyable as possible. You have the ability to contact us whenever you need assistance and we will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.