Insurance for Addictions Pushed

Insurance for Addictions Pushed
Posted by FoM on October 21, 1999 at 16:51:04 PT
Associated Press
Source: Las Vegas SUN
Saying alcohol treatment saved his life, Rep. Jim Ramstad urged a House panel to pass legislation aimed at increasing insurance coverage for alcoholism d drug addiction.
"We know this disease is fatal," Ramstad told members of the House Government Reform's subcommittee on criminal justice, drug policy and human resources. "If it weren't for treatment, I would be dead."Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican, has sponsored legislation that would prohibit health insurance plans from imposing limits on substance abuse treatment that are different from those for medical or surgical benefits. The bill would not require plans to cover substance abuse treatment, but would prohibit discrimination by health plans that do.Opposing the bill, Charles Kahn III, president of the Health Insurance Association of America, said, "Mandates can impose significant burdens on health insurance carriers and drive up costs for consumers."Several people at the hearing had personal stories to tell. Susan Rook, a former reporter with CNN, told how drug abuse and alcohol landed her in the emergency room.After entering an alcohol and drug treatment program, however, her insurance coverage ran out in a week. Only when CNN agreed to pick up the full cost of her 28-day stay was she assured she could get the treatment she needed."I had the Cadillac Deluxe (insurance) plan -- and the substance abuse was capped at $10,000," she said.The bill is H.R. 1977.Today: October 21, 1999 at 15:29:50 PDTAll contents  1996 - 1999 Las Vegas Sun, Inc.
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