Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?
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Author:  DoYourDream [ Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

I'm very excited about the prospect of starting Naltrexone but when I read that it is also used to help people with heroin and other street drugs I am concerned how it may affect my insurability. Has anyone else worried about this and has it ever been an issue for you? I don't want to be labeled a junkie in the future should I need to apply for health insurance.

I checked out the online prices and they're pretty expensive. If it won't have a negative impact on me, I'd rather use my insurance and pay a low monthly co-pay.

I left a message for my doctor on Monday and am still waiting a call back to see if she will prescribe it for me. I tried Topamax and that had no effect on me except negative side effects.

I'm curious what others have to say.


Author:  minneapolisnick [ Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

There are plenty of potential stigmas related to having naltrexone on your record. This issue has been discussed at length so you should search "insurance" on the board and see what was said. As someone who has already been denied health insurance coverage due to preexisting condition ("discussions of treatment for alcoholism with physician") I am keenly aware of this issue. But I made the decision that I needed naltrexone and preferred to do it with my doctor. I'm healthy now and don't regret it. On the other hand, we'll see what happens when I get married and try to get on my future wife's health insurance coverage. As of now, I'm on a state-sponsored plan for people who have previously been rejected for insurance and it is costly.

Author:  Saint Vincent [ Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

Doyourdream, I chose not to go through my health insurance and order online naltrexone to keep this off my insurance record. I went from 60 drinks a week to about 13 a week now. If you assume I was drinking $10 bottles of wine that's $2 a glass. Alldaychemist sells nal for $1.68 a pill. Let's call it $2 a pill to make the math easy. I was spending $480 a month on wine (if I drank only at home which I didn't so actual cost was higher). Last month I drank 18 days out of 30 and had 53 drinks. So I spent $106 on alcohol and $36 on naltrexone for a total of $142 versus $480 on booze before. My insurance rates have stayed the same because no one knows I did this. They could have easily doubled or a new insurer could have denied my coverage. Don't be penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to the financial aspects of treating alcoholism. If I drink at the same levels I am now I will save $4056 this year alone. Over 10 years I will save $40,560 enough for one of my children to go to a state university. The cost of naltrexone is a pittance in this whole equation.

Author:  DoYourDream [ Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

Thanks for your input.

As far as wine, I'm a cheap drinker that drinks two-buck Chuck but I get your point about it saving money. At $1.68 per pill, it's the same as the nightly bottle of wine.

But this just pisses me off. It just infuriates me that when we seek help, we can be penalized. Why shouldn't I be able to use my $5 copay for monthly medication instead of having to buy overseas? I see that many people do this but I'm concerned about the quality and oversight over medications bought this way.

I wonder if I already have a negative label in my "permanent record" because I've talked with my doctors about this, had counseling, etc. I also tried Topamax. I'm not sure if insurers would look at the reason why I took it or just assume it was for migraines.

Do you think most people on this forum buy online vs. using a doctor and an RX?

Still thinking...

Author:  minneapolisnick [ Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

It's a tough call, but I would guesstimate that more people here order online than go through their doctors. Many have no choice as they can't find a doctor willing to prescribe naltrexone! Talk about pissing me off. "No, we won't prescribe you naltrexone, with its scientific/factually based efficacy rate of 80%. Go to AA -- with its paltry 5% success rate -- and pray your problems away."


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Post subject:  Re: Insurance stigma - labeled as junkie?

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