Aetna is the latest health insurer to announce it will no longer require preauthorization for opioid addiction treatment, Kaiser Health News reports. The change takes effect this month and applies to commercial plans.
Requiring preauthorization for opioid addiction medications such as Suboxone can result in delays of hours or days in getting a prescription filled. Josiah Rich, a doctor at Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, who frequently treats patients with opioid addictions, says patients who don’t get treated immediately often don’t come back.
Anthem and Cigna have already announced they are dropping the preauthorization requirement for opioid treatment medications. Both companies announced their policy change after facing investigation by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who said the companies’ coverage practices could be unfairly keeping patients from getting treatment.