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Military Insurance to Cover Long Term Methadone and Suboxone Therapy

posted 01:03 AM EST, Tue January 03, 2012

Defense Department to reverse an insurance coverage ban on long term methadone maintenance therapy for military personnel.

Currently, military insurance regulations forbid the substitution of one addictive drug for another. Doctors can use methadone for short term detoxification of opiate addicts but cannot use it as a longer term therapy for opiate addiction.

But that’s all about to change.

Under new regulations, the Defense Department will allow coverage of long term methadone maintenance therapy.

In a clarification statement, the Defense Department explained the change in policy to allow methadone maintenance treatment by saying that the ban on opiate substitution therapy “is outdated and fails to recognize the accumulated medical evidence supporting certain maintenance programs as one component of the continuum of care necessary for the effective treatment of substance dependence."

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Story Highlights
  • Army OKs Methadone: Tricare insurance will now cover methadone maintenance
  • New Defense Dept. Regulations: Prohibition based on outdated science
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