New measures to fight heroin, opioid abuse going into effect Jan. 1

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New measures to combat heroin and opioid abuse is going into effect on January 1.

The governor’s office says health insurance plans will be required to cover treatment services provided to New Yorkers suffering from opioid addiction, increase access to treatment, expand community prevention strategies, and limit over prescription of opioids in New York.

Specifically, the measures include the following:

  • End prior insurance authorization to allow for immediate access to inpatient treatment as long as such treatment is needed.
  • End prior insurance authorization to allow for greater access to drug treatment medications.
  • Require all insurance companies to use objective state-approved criteria to determine the level of care for individuals suffering from substance abuse.
  • Mandate insurance coverage for opioid overdose-reversal medication.

The reforms are part of a legislative package that Gov. Cuomo signed into law earlier this year.

The new insurance coverage requirements apply to small and large group plans and plans sold to individual consumers.

Consumers with questions about the new insurance-related consumer protections are urged to contact DFS at the agency’s toll-free hotline at (800) 342-3736 or at www.dfs.ny.gov.

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