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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I got a new job around 6 months ago with really good insurance so I decided to search for a new primary medical doctor and finally go in for physical, testosterone test, blood panel and get referrals to get a few old injuries looked at.

After researching the top doc's in my area I found a particular DO that reviewed well and called to see if he was taking new patients. The second question the secretary asked me was "Are you on any type of pain medication?"

I am 90% sure I have the lowered testosterone levels I read about on these boards and I have had male pattern baldness setting in slowly for the last 5 years. These are 2 things I want my doctor to help with by having him prescribe proscar for hair loss and some type of testosterone booster but I was already on the fence about mentioning my addiction and current sub treatment.

You never know how a non addiction trained medical professional will react to opiod replacement therapy?

If my insurance provider finds out about my past opiate addiction / current subutex treatment can that have any negative impact on insurance rates or my future ability to get insurance coverage etc?

I managed to be an opiate addict for 7 years without ever doctor shopping or having any record of my addiction in my medical files. Even with my sub doctor I have kept insurance out of it and pay cash for everything.


Any insight on any of my concerns here would be greatly appreciated. If anyone knows how addiction is viewed by insurance companies, how it affects coverage and rates, please reply.

Any insight into whether to be straightforward with primary physician about the struggles of addiction and bring that into to our overall health discussion or whether I should omit that information and leave discussing that to my 2 times a week counseling sessions and keep things simple with my primary care physician would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:04 pm 
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WheresTheZone wrote:

If my insurance provider finds out about my past opiate addiction / current subutex treatment can that have any negative impact on insurance rates or my future ability to get insurance coverage etc?


Insurance companies cannot share medical information with other insurance companies without your consent. However, if the new insurance company you were to apply with, found out about a history of abuse or maintenance, you would be considered high risk and it would most likely affect your rates/ eligibility. I've been dealing with this for.. well.. forever. = )

If I could go back in time, I would keep all addiction stuff off the books, but that's just me.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:17 pm 
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I am not sure how addiction will effect your insurance situation. It would seem like it wouldn't matter if you already have the job that offers you this insurance? I dont think they can pick and choose which employees are covered?

Im a nurse so my opinion may be different but I think its better to tell your doctor the truth about your addiction. Then the doctor can get the whole picture and treat you appropriately. He can also them look for other problems addiction/opiates can cause.

I just think people get better medical care when they are honest. Its also good for your recovery to be honest.

I have always been honest with my doctors and have never had a problem with any insurance or doctor.

Good luck and I will be intrested in others opinions on this.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:10 am 
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Orangedoll,

I'm curious, have you had to apply for individual insurance while on suboxone? Or do you get insurance through work? Or have you always had the same insurance, pre-addiction? I'm genuinely curious.

It's not so much the current employer or their provided insurance that is the concern, it is what happens after.. when you have to get your own insurance. If that is of no concern to OP, then I agree.. there should be no issues with having everything out in the open. But, from what I've been through, it absolutely does affect your ability to get insurance on your own once you are acknowledged as an addict. Even if it's been nearly 10 years since you've used/ abused drugs.. You are considered high risk even if you've never had another medical issue- ever.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:31 am 
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Yeah tinydancer,

I really don't know much about insurance....I have had the same insurance my whole adult life. I have been married 22 yeats!

So that sucks they would make it hard for addicts to get insurance even 10 years later. How bad is it? Like what happens? Do you have to pay alot more than if you werent an addict? My understanding is that it kinda sucks for everyone. Like if you are obese or have diabetes you will pay more too.

Its pretty damn pathetic that I am an RN and really have no idea how it works. In the jobs I have had, it has never mattered. I am going to start learning........Thats why Im interested in this thread!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:04 am 
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It's more like you get straight up denied. A letter comes in the mail that says they can't insure you and that you can appeal if you need to (which doesn't work, they just re-deny you.) Your only option is high risk insurance which, as far as I know, is offered through your state. It's a crappy insurance plan that is also expensive. I'm not even talking about money though, to be honest, I don't care how much money I'd have to pay for insurance.. that's not my issue. I'm just stubborn these days and have yet to apply for the state run high risk insurance. I've paid out of pocket for all my medical bills for the last 10 years with no issues.. It's just a headache to keep applying and to keep getting denied. I have never had any health issues other than drug abuse and maintenance, and those are the reasons they list when I get denied.

Anyway, if I could just buy my way out of this, I would, trust me.. I have the ability. And quite honestly, if it weren't for the fear of a devastating accident or serious disease down the road, I would happily just pay out of pocket for everything, including the children I want to have. But you just never know these days.. what if something were to happen? This whole thing sucks.. trust. It's actually running joke in my family that this is the one thing I can't buy my way out of or just pay to go away. It's a bit humbling I guess.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting OP do one thing or another. Every situation is different and perhaps some of these things don't concern him. But this is a real issue for some people and it's good to put it all out there.


Having said all that, some things *should* change starting in 2014.. I believe? When the obama changes take effect but I believe it when I see it.


ETA:

I might as well include that there are some creative options we're currently exploring to bypass this craziness. If we Incorporate ourselves and then have a "group plan", they wouldn't be able to deny us. I'm just not sure about employee minimums.. I need to look into further. Did I mention this was a headache? LOL

G'night!


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