The opioid addiction epidemic in the United States has been described as the worst ever drug menace that the country has ever experienced. Thousands of American families lose their loved ones through opioid addiction as well as overdoses. All the stakeholders are being urged to do more, including American insurance firms.
In spite of the prevalent opioid addiction, research carried out by the Centre on Addiction has found out that most American insurance companies do not offer comprehensive addiction coverage. In fact, the report indicates that it is only in four states where you can find adequate insurance coverage for the treatment of addiction.
The researchers who took part in compiling this report thoroughly analyzed the existing addiction benefits in health plans. This research was based on all health plans that were sold across all the states in the country. The relevant data used to ascertain these findings collected in 2017. In more than half of the states, plans offered on addiction were found to be redundant. As a matter of fact, they were not in compliance with the Affordable Care Act requirements in addiction.
The report author, Lindsey Vuolo, who is the current director of health law and policy at Centre on Addiction, which is located in New York, urged all states to make sure that their respective health plans extensively covered addiction treatment. She said that they should do so to fill in the massive gaps that were uncovered by the report. She insisted that improving insurance coverage, especially on addiction treatment could go a long way in addressing the opioid menace.
Moreover, the investigators found out that the plans offered in 20% of the states contravened a particular federal law. This law stipulates that insurance plans should pay for addiction treatment; just as they would pay for other chronic diseases that include cancer and diabetes.
Astonishingly, Rhodes Island was the only state found to be providing the required comprehensive coverage for addiction treatment. This was in the two ACA plans that were reviewed in 2017. According to the researchers, California, Oregon and Minnesota offered at least one comprehensive addiction treatment coverage.
One of the most worrying findings was that the coverage offered became much discriminatory on Methadone. This is a Medication that is considered to be of gold standards when it comes to treating opioids addiction.
In a news release from the Centre on Addiction, Vuolo said that due to a national opioid crisis coupled with the public uproar for more efforts in terms of treatment, they would expect significant improvements in insurance coverage for addiction.
She continued by saying that there was a need to take advantage of all the tools at their disposal, including the existing Laws to end the discriminatory insurance practices. As a result, this would help more people to receive the much needed affordable care for their addiction woes.
The CEO of the Centre on Addiction, Creighton Drury, pointed out that the majority of addicts find the treatment for their problem to be extremely expensive, not unless their insurance coverage pays for it. He stated that families need to realize they have a right to insurance cover and if they do so, this knowledge could save a lot of lives.
Drury concluded by saying that, both health insurance executives, as well as government leaders have to understand that failure to provide insurance coverage for addiction treatment has been causing enormous heartache and loss of lives that could be prevented in the nation.
According to Drury, the Centre on Addiction had decided to conduct extensive research and compile a report in a bid to call on all the leaders to take the required moral and legal action to tackle the nation’s opioid problem.
The Centre on Addiction has been at the forefront of fighting the ever-rising opioid addiction in the country. This is done through the improvement of the public understanding of addiction and prevention measures. For this reason, the non-profit organization is determined to see the insurance companies stop discriminating addiction treatment.
The leadership of this non-profit firm strongly believes that if these insurance firms were willing to play their role as required by law, it would be much easier to deal with addiction.
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