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Lawmakers seek to eliminate insurance pre-authorization

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont legislators are seeking to ban insurance companies or Medicaid from requiring pre-authorization before approving medication-assisted treatment.

Democratic Rep. Ann Pugh tells The Times Argus she wants to remove any barriers between someone with a substance use disorder and treatment.

The bills in the state House and Senate come after the American Medical Association found patients had their opioid abuse treatment delayed because their medication-assisted treatment coverage requests were denied by the insurer.

State Department of Health Access Commissioner Cory Gustafson says Vermont may lose rebates they receive on drugs if the state ends pre-authorization.

He says the state could spend $3.5 million more if pre-authorization is removed.

Both bills have been referred to committee.

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Information from: The Times Argus, http://www.timesargus.com/

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