Below is a template advocacy letter you can use to send to Governor Cuomo urging him to sign legislation to remove prior authorizations of all forms of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorder (SUD) in Medicaid and commercial insurance. The legislation is currently at risk of veto, and we need as many letters as possible to show the Governor that these bills are critically important to all New Yorkers and will save lives by ensuring people who need medication to treat their SUDs can access it without unnecessary and burdensome administrative delays. Decades of research show overwhelming evidence that MAT, when provided promptly, can save lives. Studies also suggest that requiring prior authorizations and other administrative burdens can reduce the provision of MAT and limit access for patients who need it most.
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write to express my strong support for two bills, A.7246/S.5935 and A.2904/S.4808 which have both passed the Senate and Assembly and now await your signature. As you are aware, these bills will remove substantial barriers to receiving life-saving medication to treat substance use disorders (SUDs) by removing prior authorizations for buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone in Medicaid (A.7246) and commercial insurance (A.2904). Thanks to your leadership New York State has been at the vanguard of innovative policies to remove insurance barriers to address the opioid epidemic. This bill will further solidify New York as a leader by ensuring New Yorker’s can access the medications they need to treat their substance use disorder without unnecessary administrative delays.
[Advocates – please insert information here about who you are and why this legislation is important to you, your family, your constituents, etc.]
In New Jersey, Governor Murphy signed legislation this July to remove prior authorizations of all FDA approved medications to treat SUDs after their Office of Legislative Services determined that the increase in costs to the State Medicaid program would be offset by the reduction in emergency department visits and other health care expenditures related to untreated SUDs.
The American Medical Association recently recommended that all States remove prior authorization for medication to treat substance use disorder to address the over-whelming numbers of opioid-related overdose deaths across the country. Arkansas, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington D.C. have all recently heeded this call, recognizing that they can save lives by removing insurance barriers to proven treatment. We urge you to sign this critical legislation into law so that New York can add its name to the list of States that are committed to removing any and all barriers to prompt access to life-saving treatment for substance use disorders.
[Insert your name here.]
Where to send:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
E-mail your letter to [email protected], and we will make sure Governor Cuomo receives every message!
You can also see the letter sent by Legal Action Center and our partners here.