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Magic Johnson teams up on HIV/AIDS program

April 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

MIAMI, April 4 (UPI) -- A company owned by Magic Johnson is teaming up with a Miami-based insurer to create a Medicaid program for HIV and AIDS patients, officials said.

Magic Johnson Enterprises and Simply Healthcare Plans announced a partnership to launch Clear Health Alliance, a subsidiary of Simply Healthcare Plans that will start in Miami-Dade County and expand throughout Florida, The Miami Herald reported.

Johnson, the former NBA star who is HIV-positive, said in a statement he was eager to work with Simply to develop "healthcare programs focused on the needs of individuals in under-served communities."

Johnson has promoted HIV and AIDS awareness programs and his foundation has partnered with the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to provide medical care for HIV and AIDS.

Miguel Fernandez, chairman of Simply, said he and Johnson plan a "high-touch, high-care program" that is to include transportation services and nutrition advice in a "more holistic approach than we have ever done."

Fernandez said the concept would be expanded nationally and would include medical centers to treat patients, emphasizing low-income Hispanics and African-Americans in inner-cities.

He said the Florida Legislature passed a law last year allowing creation of special Medicaid plans for HIV patients in South Florida and this year HIV Medicaid patients throughout the state will be required to join special health-maintenance organizations.

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