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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:08 pm 
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So, here's my situation-- I've been using heroin daily for about a year and a half, and I really want to quit. Every day, it becomes more apparent that I'm going to need help with that. I've tried quitting countless times, both by tapering and going cold turkey, but it's been nearly impossible as I'm trying to hold down a job. I do have insurance, and I have found some sub doctors that accept it. My problem is that I'm still covered by my parents' insurance for a few more years. I've thought about it a lot, and talked to my therapist about it extensively, and we both agree that my parents are NOT the people I can go to for help with this at this point. They're getting older, and confiding in them about this wouldn't be safe, for me or for them.

So my question is, if I use my mom's insurance, am I still protected by doctor-patient confidentiality? When my mom gets her insurance bills, is it going to say something like, "Opiate replacement therapy," or, "suboxone treatment program," or do they keep it vague to protect my privacy?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Hi Anehta, Welcome to this forum! I am a moderator here. I am a social worker and have worked with people dealing with addiction and mental health issues for more than twenty years. I also am on suboxone as I developed a physical addiction to a synthetic opiate. My advice is based on my experience in the field of addiction. Your Doctor has to write a diagnosis code in order to be paid and you to receive treatment. You can ask him to say that you are being treated for depression or pain. In both cases, people are using suboxone. But, I would say this really all depends on how your parents handle the paperwork they will get from the insurance company. Do they read the whole thing? If you see a new doctor, will they investigate who this doctor is? What I get from bc/bs is an explanation of benefits. It has a diagnosis code. Will your parents look up the code? What you might want to do is see if you can go online to the insurance company and state that you dont want paper bills sent to the house. You maybe able to select which patient and/or which doctors. I don't think there is any way to guarantee that they will not find out. But, you can try and put a few safeguards in place. Good luck! I am sure others will weigh in soon with more suggestions. Please keep posting so we know how you are doing!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:47 pm 
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As Michelle pointed out, your parent will get a statement that includes a diagnosis code. Your doc can't put a different diagnosis on the claim, as that would consist of fraud-- which could really cause problems for the doc. But as Michelle suggested, maybe your parents aren't that tuned into the details of their insurance info?

But the safest thing would be to assume that if you use your parents' insurance, they will eventually know about your treatment. And frankly that's fair, since using their insurance is essentially the same as receiving financial assistance from them.

You always have the option of NOT using their insurance and paying cash--- or using only your own insurance. But it wouldn't be ethical, in my opinion, for then to cover the cost (by paying the premiums that pay for the insurance that covers your care) without them being able to determine where those payments are going-- and the reason they are being paid.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:43 pm 
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Yes,yes,yes! Could not agree more! Sorry, I did not mean in any way that you should not be honest with your parents, that is always the best policy. And, I also assumed that you are over 18. I do however understand discretion and your need for privacy. I also understand your not wanting your parents to find out about what is going on with you through insurance papers that they receive in the mail. So, you may want to sit down with them and inform them of your battle and the steps you are taking to overcome it. I have to say, I would be relieved and proud if I was your parents that you are taking care of yourself!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:17 am 
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Hi, just want to add my 2 cents. I have Cigna & my explanation of benefits (eon) just has the doctor or therapist name & then numbers. So as others have said, your parents will know only if they google the codes.

As a mother of a son who was an IV h user I am glad he used our insurance for sub treatment. He tried multiple times to get clean. Finally something clicked and he has been on sub for almost 4 years & is doing great. I bet your parents just want you well.

Take this opportunity and go for help. Don't worry about anything but stopping h before it kills you. Your parents would rather have you alive.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:30 am 
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Suboxone or another buprenorphine medication would greatly reduce the risk of overdose-- which is great news for any parent. Realize too that parents usually know far more then their kids realize. They see you losing weight, suddenly running off and returning looking 'buzzed' an hour later... no money, and gifts you once received being handed over for cash.... they almost surely know that something is going on!!


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