LAC calls on all New Yorkers to contact their state legislators and the Governor and urge them to enact the New York State Heroin and Opioids Task Force’s recommendations to expand insurance coverage and access to treatment, including:
- Remove current barriers to inpatient treatment for addiction. The Task Force called for the elimination of prior approval by insurance companies for inpatient admissions and urged the State “to ensure that individuals have access to unlimited necessary inpatient treatment.”
- Increase access to critical medications that treat addiction by eliminating prior authorization requirements for emergency supplies of medications.
- Mandate that insurers use an objective, state-approved criteria when making coverage determinations. Right now, insurance companies use different criteria to determine the appropriate duration and scope of coverage individuals need for treatment, which has often served as a barrier to desperately needed medical care.
- Educate consumers about their treatment protections and their rights under the Federal and State parity laws. Even while many insurance companies still do not comply with these laws, most New Yorkers do not understand their right to equal coverage for addiction and mental health care and physical health.
- Ensure that people leaving addiction treatment have access to lifelong supports for recovery. These include new Recovery Community Outreach Centers, investments in additional Youth Clubhouses, a two-year extension of a wrap-around program for post-treatment services, and investment in transitional and supportive housing to support long-term recovery.
New Yorkers should also demand legislation that would:
- Remove prior authorization and utilization management barriers to other forms of treatment, including outpatient, intensive outpatient and medication assisted treatments.
- Require that insurers cover all FDA-approved medications for treating addiction.
- Require that insurers cover needed prevention and recovery support services.
To find contact information for your State Senator, go to: https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator.
For contact information for your representative in the State Assembly, go to: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/search/.
To contact the Governor’s office, go to: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact.