Trending News Today: AHCA Could Make Maintaining Healthcare While Switching Jobs More Difficult

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A new analysis revealed that treatment for patients with private insurance who have opioid misuse disorder varies among each state, which could impact patient outcomes. The investigators found that patients in California commonly receive counseling and drug tests, while patients in Illinois receive 15-minute physician visits and injections of naltrexone, according to Kaiser Health News. New York patients were typically prescribed methadone and patients in Texas were prescribed a panel of drug screening tests. The investigators report that the differences in treatment are indicative of the attitudes, access to healthcare, and services available in each state, according to the article.

The Affordable Care Act allows individuals to maintain health coverage if they have moved to a new job, been laid off, or lost employer-sponsored coverage for another reason. If the House-approved American Health Care Act (AHCA) passes in the Senate, switching jobs and maintaining coverage could be difficult, according to The New York Times. Without the flexibility, individuals may have to receive their coverage through COBRA, which requires individuals to pay the entire premium each month. These costs may be out of reach for some individuals, especially those who have not started a new job.

If passed, the AHCA would result in significant cuts to Medicaid. These funding cuts could result in many individuals not receiving proper treatment for opioid misuse disorder. In Pennsylvania, patients may require a $1000 monthly shot of naltrexone, plus therapy and meetings with a recovery coach, according to NPR. Medicaid-insured patients may not be able to receive the treatments due to high costs, and with cuts to Medicaid, it is likely that such services may not be offered, according to the article.