Opioid abuse has become a major public health crisis in recent years. In 2016 alone, over 70,000 Americans died due to drug overdose.
This number is expected to rise to 80,000 deaths in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 2 million Americans suffer from substance use disorder.
Opioids include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, and fentanyl patches.
United Healthcare provides coverage for Suboxone, a medication prescribed to treat opioid dependence. This article will discuss United Healthcare and how it can provide coverage for Suboxone.
What Is United Healthcare?
United Healthcare is the nation’s largest insurer with more than 30 million members across the country.
It was founded in 1945 by three insurance companies: Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Aetna.
Today, United Healthcare offers plans through employer-sponsored group policies or individual policies.
The company also owns several subsidiaries including UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company; United HealthCare Services Corporation; United Behavioral Health Inc.; and United Medical Management Inc.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a brand name for buprenorphine, which is a synthetic opiate receptor agonist.
Buprenorphine blocks the euphoric effects of opioids but doesn’t cause physical withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine is used to treat opioid dependence. It helps patients stop using opioids without experiencing severe cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Suboxone works by blocking the brain receptors that are activated when an opioid binds to its target site.
When this happens, the patient experiences feelings of pleasure and relief. However, these feelings fade after a few minutes.
When the user stops taking Suboxone, he or she experiences some unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, drowsiness, sweating, dizziness, dry mouth, and itching.
These symptoms usually last less than 24 hours.
Who Should Use Suboxone?
Anyone who wants to quit using opioids should consider using Suboxone. People who have been addicted to opioids for at least one year may benefit from Suboxone.
People who have tried other treatments for opioid addiction and failed should also try Suboxone. Other medications are not always effective for treating opioid addiction.
For example, methadone maintenance therapy requires daily visits to a clinic. Medications such as naltrexone require long-term administration.
People who take Suboxone on their own may experience mood swings. They may feel irritable, agitated, depressed, or anxious.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Suboxone?
Yes. The most common adverse reactions include:
- Dry Mouth
Do I Have To Take Suboxone Every Day?
No. Your doctor may prescribe Suboxone once every day, once every week, or twice per month. He or she will determine how often you should take it based on your progress.
Can I Stop Taking Suboxone After Two Months?
Yes. You can stop taking Suboxone after two months if you no longer want to use it. You should continue to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Does United Healthcare Cover Suboxone?
According to its website, United Healthcare covers “any medically necessary service or supply covered under your plan.”
However, there are some exceptions.
For example, if the service or supply is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then United Healthcare may deny coverage.
If your doctor prescribes Suboxone, you may be eligible for benefits under United Healthcare’s Drug Addiction Program. You must have been diagnosed with an opioid use disorder and meet certain criteria.
- You must be enrolled in Medicare Part D.
- You must have received a diagnosis from your physician.
- Your physician must have determined that you are at risk for relapse.
- Your physician must have recommended outpatient care.
- You must have been prescribed Suboxone for up to two months.
- You must not have had any other type of insurance coverage for the past year.
If you have been prescribed Suboxone, you should check whether United Healthcare covers this medication. You can do so by contacting United Healthcare at 1-800-865-5115.
How Do I Apply For United Healthcare Insurance Cover?
To apply for United Healthcare insurance, visit www.unitedhealthcare.com/apply. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you will need to pay out of pocket for your treatment.
What Are Some Alternatives To Suboxone?
Suboxone is the only FDA-approved medication for opioid addiction. It has helped many people overcome their addictions. However, there are alternatives available.
Methadone Maintenance Therapy
Methadone is another option for treating opioid addiction. This drug works by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain. It does not cure opioid addiction. Instead, it helps patients stay off drugs.
Methadose is a combination of methadone and dilaudid. This combination is used to treat severe pain. Methadose is administered through injection.
Other Options For Drug Rehab
There are many options available for people who are looking for drug rehab. Some of these options include:
- Inpatient Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
- Partial Hospitalization
- Intensive Outpatient Programs
- Residential Treatment Centers
- Drug Rehabilitation Centers
- Drug Abuse Counseling Centers
The decision about which option is best for you depends on several factors. These include:
- What kind of treatment program would work best for you?
- Where would you like to go?
- Is it possible to travel to the location where you want to go?
- Is it important to you to live near family members?
Other Insurance Companies That Cover Suboxone Treatment
Some companies offer similar benefits as those offered by UnitedHealthCare. For example, Aetna offers a benefit called “Suboxone Assistance.”
This benefit provides partial coverage for the cost of Suboxone. It also allows patients to receive their medications without having to pay out of pocket.
However, not all insurance plans provide the same level of coverage. In addition, most private health insurance plans only reimburse part of the costs associated with addiction treatment.
Therefore, you must speak with your provider before making a final decision about how much coverage you need.
United Healthcare has a variety of programs designed to help people who suffer from substance abuse problems. Suboxone is an effective medication used to treat opioid addictions.
However, not everyone qualifies for benefits under United Healthcare.
To find out more information about United Healthcare’s drug addiction programs, contact them today at 1-800-866-7999.
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