The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines drug abuse and dependencies as the usage of a legal or an illegal medication that causes physical, mental, emotional, or social harm. Examples of commonly abused drugs include opioids, stimulants, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents, and hallucinogens. Drug abuse is a major public health problem in society today and can cause an applicant applying for health insurance to unknowingly have their application declined prematurely by most major medical carriers.
Why its hard to get insurance to cover this.
The reasons why most insurers are hesitant about insuring a proposed applicant are mainly due to the financial hardships or complications in which the administrator of a plan will ensue including cardiac arrest, intracranial hemorrhage, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, tetanus, subacute bacterial endocarditis, hepatitis, vasculitis, septicemia, thrombophlebitis, pulmonary emboli, gangrene, malaria, as well as increased risk of suicide and psychosis.
There are some that do cover the condition but they are hard to find.
However there are a select but few carriers that will cover the recovery of addiction through availability of specialty coverage. Discussing the situation with a licensed insurance agent to direct and guide toward a reputable company with a managed care program to cover detoxification is paramount.
Detoxification, is the controlled and gradual withdrawal of an abused drug and is achieved through substitution of a medication with similar action. A properly administrated detoxification health insurance program will cover substitute medications as well as prescriptions to ease the withdrawal reducing a patients discomfort and associated risk.
A good program will provide coverage for the following.
Depending on which drug that patient has abused, detoxification may be managed on an inpatient or outpatient basis and will have to cover a possible regime of expensive drugs including Diazepam, Topamax, Campral, Atabuse, ReVia, Vivotrol, Buprenorphine, and Methodone to name a few. Withdrawal symptoms which are left untreated can produce hazardous effects such as generalized tonic-clonic seizures, epilepsy, or hypotension. Opioid withdrawal causes severe physical discomfort and can even be life threatening. To minimize these effects, chronic opioid abusers are commonly detoxified with prescription Methadone. To ease withdrawal from opioids, depressants, and other drugs, useful nonchemical measures may include psychotherapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, and nutritional support. Sedatives and tranquilizers may be administered temporarily to help the patient cope with insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
After withdrawal, rehabilitation is needed to prevent recurrence of abuse. Rehab programs are also available for inpatient or outpatient basis and usually are covered for several months. During and after rehabilitation, participation in a drug-oriented self help group may be helpful.
Drug or alcohol abuse and related addictions can circumvent obtaining most major health insurance, however it should not stop you from fighting the disease. There are some carriers out there that have programs like this on a limited basis and can help you or someone you know put an end to the struggle.