Chronic Pain and Insurance Coverage

Chronic Pain and Insurance Coverage

Living with pain is one of the most limiting conditions that someone must endure. It can affect every minute of life, from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night. In this light, avoiding treatment can be problematic, especially if someone develops an opioid addiction as she abuses opioid painkillers.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more Americans suffer from pain than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined; pain is a ubiquitous problem that requires immediate help.

One of the reasons people abuse drugs to cope with pain is because they don’t know what their health insurance covers. Such coverage and chronic pain interact in different ways depending on where you are and what kind of treatment you need. Often, healthcare coverage determines how seriously someone seeks treatment, alternate choices and options for wellness.

Health Insurance Coverage and Chronic Pain

If someone has chronic pain and desires treatment, the first suggestion is to ask as many questions as possible of your health insurance provider. Research your health insurance policy or the one you may obtain to see what your options may be for treatment. Some insurance plans may seem good because they are expensive, but they may be limited, and cheaper options may even cater to your needs. The Everyday Health website offers some tips to surpass barriers to your insurance coverage.

However, even by using your insurance to the fullest, many policies require extra payments for non-drug therapies. Health insurance may not cover physical or behavioral therapy as readily as medication and intervention therapies, so read your policy carefully and appeal your request if a certain therapy is denied. (appeals are particularly important for people with a history of or who wish to avoid painkiller addiction).

According to The New York Times, insurance coverage for opioid painkillers might be hard to obtain if a doctor suspects you of dependence or serious side effects. Some insurers may also deny coverage for opioid painkillers until patients undergo a trial period with weaker drugs, such as aspirin.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine recognizes that coverage in the US is limited in most cases, and that an interdisciplinary approach can provide comprehensive care.

In the paper posted by this organization, interdisciplinary care involves much more than opioid painkillers, such as the following treatment professionals:

  • Recreational therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Psychologists
  • A range of physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • The patient and his family

A comprehensive program of this kind would be ideal for chronic pain, as it will also anticipate addiction.

Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction

As stated earlier, ignoring treatment for chronic pain could cause someone to abuse painkillers to cope. The reasons for this behavior may vary, especially is someone lacks resources to pay for medical treatment, or if she lacks information regarding her health insurance coverage.

However, self-medication is a dangerous practice that will only create more problems, because opioid painkillers are habit-forming, especially when taken without medical supervision.

According to MedlinePlus magazine, about five percent of people who take opioid painkillers under medical supervision will develop addiction, so it is recommended that everyone who takes painkillers to undergo screening to address dependence problems as soon as possible.

These steps highlight the importance of searching for medical care when dealing with chronic pain. For those who want to avoid addiction to prescription drugs, then physical therapy, counseling, psychological care and other programs are the best option.

Recovering from Opioid Addiction and Chronic Pain

The best way a painkiller addict can recover is to talk with professionals who know both what treatment programs are available and how to use health insurance to cover the costs.

Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now so our admissions coordinators can develop a treatment plan for you or your loved one. Our staff has information regarding intervention services, family counseling, medically supervised detox and how to use insurance; their services are confidential, so call right now for instant support.