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When Health Insurance Covers Opioids, But Won't Cover Opioid Treatmen

DALLAS, Texas. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, your health insurance may cover the costs of your opioid prescriptions to help you manage your back pain. But, what happens if you become addicted to opioids while taking these drugs to manage your pain? According to Vox, some health insurance companies won’t cover opioid addiction prescriptions. Some patients rely on prescription treatment like buprenorphine to manage cravings. Not all insurance policies cover these drugs.

The research supports the use of prescription drugs among patients addicted to opioids. For example, buprenorphine has been known to cut the mortality rate among those addicted to opioids by half. Vox reported that across the country, insurance companies may be denying patients access to the very drugs that may have the best chance of saving their lives. While Medicare provides patients’ access to prescription-based opioid treatment, private insurers are not required to pay for prescription opioids.

In other cases, patients require prior authorization in order to receive opioid treatment prescriptions, with some patients having to wait days or even weeks. For a patient addicted to opioids, this delay can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. The days and weeks after a patient recognizes that they have a problem are a critical moment in addiction treatment. It can be very tough for patients to admit that they need help. Delays in treatment coupled with cravings can lead to a relapse.

Other insurance companies may place arbitrary time limits on how long patients can access opioid treatment medications. These time limits are contrary to what most doctors know from empirical evidence—that addiction is a lifelong disorder and some patients will need to use prescription drugs to manage it for life.

Some critics of the ways insurers currently handle addiction patients claim that they may already be breaking the law. However, stigma among addiction patients and the fact that not all addiction patients seek prescription remedies may be making access to care and the legal battle tough to navigate.

According to U.S. News & World Report, approximately one third of Americans have been prescribed opioid painkillers. In some cases, patients needed the drugs to deal with acute pain, but in some cases, individuals were prescribed the drugs because they are cheaper than other alternatives like chiropractic care or long-term rehabilitation.

If you’ve hurt your back in a car or truck accident, before you take opioid prescriptions, consider the alternatives. Some individuals may not choose alternative treatments because of the out of pocket costs. However, the law offers some protections to individuals hurt due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may be entitled to seek damages to cover your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Gregg in Dallas, Texas today to learn more about your options and rights. Our firm may be able to help you, but you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law.