The federal government on Wednesday issued a final rule on “essential health benefits” that most health insurance plans must offer next year, including treatment of drug addiction and alcohol abuse.
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Public health groups and tobacco companies are united in their opposition to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows insurance companies to charge smokers 50 percent more than nonsmokers, The Washington Post reports.
Although the Affordable Care Act requires new private health plans to cover several methods of tobacco cessation, many insurance plans are not providing mandated coverage to help smokers quit, a new report concludes.
Health insurers are unlikely to start covering the cost of medical marijuana, even as more states approve its use, The Washington Post reports. Earlier this month, Massachusetts joined 17 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Substance abuse treatment providers must take steps now to get ready for the influx of new patients they will begin to see in January 2014 as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to an expert speaking at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders.
One of the biggest points of contention about marijuana is whether or not it can be considered medicine, according to Kevin Sabet, PhD, Policy Consultant and Assistant Professor, University of Florida. He says that while smoked crude marijuana is not medicine, marijuana does have medicinal properties – found in its individual components.
The federal government will decide within the next month whether nurse anesthetists can be reimbursed by Medicare for treating chronic pain, The Wall Street Journal reports. Some doctors say such a move could complicate the fight against prescription drug abuse.
Patients in Kentucky with long-term medical conditions that require controlled substances must submit to urine drug tests under a new state law designed to combat prescription drug abuse. Those tests are not always covered by insurance companies, the Associated Press reports.
A new government report finds that Medicare routinely refills pain medications without new prescriptions that are required by federal law.
Almost six million Americans will face a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act for not obtaining health insurance, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.