State Issues New Insurance Coverage Guidelines for Opioids

You’ve likely heard in the news that an opioid epidemic is currently sweeping the nation and the state of Connecticut is no exception. In an effort to combat addiction, state Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade issued a statement that insurance companies must cover FDA-approved opioid abuse deterrent drugs such as naloxone, if medically necessary.
Wade’s decree comes at the same time Governor Malloy signed Public Act 16-43 and Bulletin HC-112 went into effect. The latter, issued on May 31st, pertains to insurance companies’ drug lists, ensuring that at least one medication in every class is covered. The goal is to make sure consumers have access to these lifesaving drugs and that providers guiding them through the detox process have the flexibility to prescribe medications according to the patient’s needs.
On the other hand, Public Act 16-43 is farther reaching. Malloy signed the bill to target and reduce opioid abuse in the state, with the goal of educating the public about prescription misuse and abuse to ultimately save lives.
Once it goes into effect, the act will restrict opioid prescriptions, considered a gateway drug to heroin, to no longer than seven days initially. From there, doctors must discuss risks about long-term usage with patients and, if the individual is taking an opioid for a chronic or acute condition, it must be noted on the patient’s medical record.
“The epidemic tears apart families and ruins lives and must be addressed on several fronts,” Wade said to the press. “The law Governor Malloy recently signed the law will go a long way in helping Connecticut communities combat this scourge.”
If you’ve been using painkillers long-term for a chronic condition, talk with your insurance carrier about how these changes could affect your policy. For any other issues concerning your insurance, give us a call today at 203.439.2815.