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insurance coverage for addiction treatment

Increase Insurance Coverage for Addiction to Lower Risk of Opioid Deaths

Increase Insurance Coverage for Addiction to Lower Risk of Opioid Deaths

Patients who are living with an opioid addiction and want to get help shouldn’t be denied access to treatment by their health insurance providers. This statement was one of the new policy recommendations co-authored by Professor Claudio Nigg, from the Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

Lack of Full Coverage for Addiction Treatment a Barrier

The most likely reason people who want, but don’t get, addiction treatment is that government and private insurance policies don’t cover the cost of getting help, according to a statement posted June 27, 2018, on the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s website.

Professor Nigg explained, “To fight the opioid addiction epidemic that is ravaging the US today, policymakers need to increase Medicaid funding for addiction treatment and declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency, and not just a public health emergency.”

On a typical day in the United States, 3,900 people start taking a prescription opioid medication for non-medical reasons. Dozens of people die each day from an opioid overdose. In 2016, 77 people died from an opioid overdose in Hawaii, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Medication-Based Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Research has shown that medication-based treatment (MAT) is one approach for clients living with opioid addiction. It includes two components.

First, clients take medication to decrease cravings for drugs (such as oxycodone, morphine and heroin). They also attend behavioral modification therapy (“talk therapy”), which helps them change their thinking and actions.

Funding for Counseling Needed Along with Medications

Professor Nigg points out that while many insurance programs will pay for the medication, getting funding for counseling is much more difficult. He points out that people need the talk therapy, not just the medications to be treated properly for their addiction.

Nigg is an expert in the behavioral health science field. He has studied theories of behavioral change throughout his career and has conducted research on the motivations for people to take part in healthier living strategies.

For more information on opioid addiction treatment, and to find out if you have insurance coverage for addiction treatment, give us a call today.

Expanding Access to Treatment for Those Who Need It

healthcarereformAccording to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), there were approximately 6.5 million illicit drug users who needed but did not receive specialty treatment for substance abuse last year. Of the reasons cited for not entering a rehabilitation program, lack of funding was one of the more prevalent issues.

Many treatment providers are hoping that the Affordable Care Act that is set to take effect next year will open the door for more people receiving the help they need. An article in the Washington Post indicates that number of people who would become eligible for coverage and thus seeking treatment could double. They raise the issue as to whether or not there are enough treatment beds available for the probable influx of patients.

However, there is another thought that recent drug law changes in New York serves an indicator that availability doesn’t suddenly mean usage. While insurance coverage for drug rehab doesn’t equal the same as nonviolent offender sentencing, it still creates a valid point that other social factors could be limiting those receiving treatment than just financial aid.

At Desert Cove Recovery, we understand that those people who have insurance coverage for addiction treatment want to get the most out of their policies. We work with many of the top insurance carriers to help provide services for those in need of professional care, and we welcome the prospect of being able to assist many more on their path to recovery.