N.H. Insurance Department Shares Review of Substance Abuse Coverage

Feb 19, 2016

Credit Steve Smith via Flickr CC

An initial review of whether New Hampshire insurance companies are appropriately covering substance abuse treatment shows significant differences in how often claims are denied, but experts identified problems with only a handful of cases.

The probe comes as New Hampshire seeks to expand treatment and recovery services amid a growing heroin and opioid crisis. The state insurance department began looking into the issue in November after hearing from complaints from providers and advocates, and officials presented their preliminary findings in Concord on Friday.

From January to October, there were 11,650 claims for opioid treatment among the top three insurance companies. Denial rates ranged from 9.5 percent to 28.3 percent. Medical experts reviewed 64 cases in which treatment was deemed medically unnecessary and had concerns with eight of them.