Magic Johnson Partners Up To Create HIV/AIDS Medicaid Program

Magic Johnson Enterprises and Miami-based Simply Healthcare Plans team up

By Patricia Tirone
|  Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012  |  Updated 9:19 PM EDT
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Magic Has HIV: The News Stunned Nation

Magic Johnson Enterprises announced its partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans to create a Medicaid program for HIV patients on Tuesday.

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Magic Has HIV: The News That Stunned the Nation

Earvin "Magic" Johnson's revealed 21 years ago that he was HIV positive. A new documentary chronicles his journey living with the disease. NBC4's Cary Berglund talks with Magic.

Magic Has HIV: The News Stunned Nation

More than two decades ago, Earvin "Magic" Johnson revealed that he was HIV positive. Now a new documentary chronicles his journey living with the disease. Cary Berglund reports.
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Magic Johnson Enterprises announced its partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans to create a Medicaid program for HIV patients on Tuesday.

The Medicaid plan for patients with HIV and AIDS, Clear Health Alliance, is a subsidiary of Miami-based Simply Healthcare Plans, the Miami Herald reported.

Miguel Fernandez, the chairman of SHP, said the goal is to offer hands-on care in company-owned clinics, expanding from its base of Miami-Dade to Florida, and eventually throughout the country.

Fernandez said the partnership was facilitated through a mutual friend, Miami Heat President Pat Riley.

“This is two minority powerhouses coming together – an African-American and an Hispanic,” Fernandez told the Herald.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with SHP’s team on developing healthcare programs focused on the needs of individuals in underserved communities,” Johnson said in a statement.

The former NBA star, who is HIV-positive, has been a major promoter of HIV/AIDS awareness programs nationwide and has partnered his foundation with the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care.

“SHP is creating programs that will make an impact on improving the quality and access to care for individuals in urban areas and I am hopeful that the community, providers and hospitals embrace these efforts,” Johnson said.

Fernandez said that the Legislature passed a law that allows the formation of special Medicaid plans for HIV patients in South Florida, and Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill just last week to extend the program statewide.

“This could not have been done without the governor’s office and the Agency for Health Care Administration,” Fernandez told the Herald. “They saw the value and supported our ideas.”

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