Health insurance hurdles can hinder access to opioid addiction meds

Insurance companies are reportedly making it harder for opioid users to get their hands on a key medication that helps to treat addiction.

News 12 Staff

Feb 15, 2019, 8:20 PM

Updated 1,947 days ago

Share:

Health insurance hurdles can hinder access to opioid addiction meds
Insurance companies are reportedly making it harder for opioid users to get their hands on a key medication that helps to treat addiction.
Joseph Cavallo, of Ronkonkoma, was hooked on heroin for years and has now been clean for three of them. He calls the journey hard, saying he tried medication-assisted therapies like Suboxone to get sober. But he says he encountered issues because the form he was taking was no longer covered by insurance.
A new study shows that Medicare Part D has made it harder to treat opioid addiction. In 2007, nearly 90 percent of Medicare plans offered buprenorphine -- a component of Suboxone --  without restriction, but that number shrank to 35 percent by 2018.
Steve Chassman, of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says it's a critical time to not have these medications.
"It seems somewhat ironic or conflictual that the insurance companies are making them less and less widely available," he says.
News 12 reached out to Medicare for comment but was told this is a complicated issue and that more time is needed to provide a statement.


More from News 12
0:49
Officials: Fire displaces 18 from Hempstead home with illegal subdivisions

Officials: Fire displaces 18 from Hempstead home with illegal subdivisions

2:01
Pleasant Father’s Day with mix of sun and clouds on Long Island

Pleasant Father’s Day with mix of sun and clouds on Long Island

0:35
Police: Man accused of driving drunk in East Meadow with 13-year-old boy inside car

Police: Man accused of driving drunk in East Meadow with 13-year-old boy inside car

0:42
Hundreds participate in 45th annual Shelter Island 10K & 5K Run/Walk

Hundreds participate in 45th annual Shelter Island 10K & 5K Run/Walk

1:20
Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

2:02
 A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

0:31
Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

1:46
‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

1:34
Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

0:27
Police: Owner of Huntington restaurant, 2 security guards arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check

Police: Owner of Huntington restaurant, 2 security guards arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check

2:07
New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

2:04
Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

2:15
Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

2:15
Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable

Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable

2:07
Study: Food insecurity becomes growing problem for Long Islanders

Study: Food insecurity becomes growing problem for Long Islanders

0:41
Mastic Beach street renamed for teen who was killed 3 years ago

Mastic Beach street renamed for teen who was killed 3 years ago

0:27
Police: Man accused of exposing himself outside Westbury church

Police: Man accused of exposing himself outside Westbury church

2:37
Police: 16-year-old shot in Long Beach following chaotic night with massive crowds

Police: 16-year-old shot in Long Beach following chaotic night with massive crowds