Medicaid Expansion Led to Increase in Opioid Addiction Diagnosis and Treatment

doctor and patient

Medicaid expansion has led to increases in the number of people diagnosed with and treated for opioid addiction, according to a new study that focused on West Virginia.

Some states expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014. The new study found the law helped to increase access to the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine in West Virginia, one of the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. As of 2016, the state had a fatal opioid overdose rate of 43.3 deaths per 100,000 residents—more than triple the U.S. average, according to Reuters.

The study, published in Health Affairs, found in the first three years of Medicaid expansion, monthly opioid use disorder diagnoses almost tripled. The proportion of people diagnosed with the disorder who filled prescriptions for buprenorphine increased from about one-third to three-fourths during those years. Average treatment duration increased from 161 days to 185 days.

Demand Insurance Coverage of Addiction Treatment

Millions of families struggle to get insurance coverage for treatment. And those same families, in a time of crisis, are uncertain of the rights and coverage available to them under the 2008 Parity Act. Know your rights and what benefits you are legally entitled to for substance use treatment.

parity addiction

Leave a Comment

Please leave a comment below to contribute to the discussion. If you have a specific question, please contact a Parent Specialist, who will provide you with one-on-one help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *