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State Releases Early Findings in Probe of Insurance Coverage of Opioid Treatment

Jack Rodolico

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is trying to figure out if the state's largest insurance companies are covering opioid treatment the way the law requires.

The preliminary findings of the department's ongoing investigation are inconclusive.

We do know a few things though: There seems to be inconsistency in how much Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Harvard Pilgrim pay for addiction services, and how much they pay based on a patient's age. But it's too early to say if those apparent inconsistencies mean insurers aren't following federal and state laws.

The Insurance Department presented these findings Friday to the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment. Chairman Timothy Rourke says there's still a big question unanswered.

"Do people's insurance cards work? Whether they get a cancer diagnosis, or a substance use diagnosis, does their insurance card work the same?" Rourke says. "That ultimately is what I think what we care about the most."

The Insurance Department's full report should be complete this summer. 

Before joining NHPR in August 2014, Jack was a freelance writer and radio reporter. His work aired on NPR, BBC, Marketplace and 99% Invisible, and he wrote for the Christian Science Monitor and Northern Woodlands.

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