Trending News Today: Government Pushes for Insurers to Cover Opioid Addiction

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

This year, HealthCare.gov has been struggling to keep up with individuals who wish to sign up for health insurance through Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Many individuals around the country are being placed in online holding areas to prevent crashing the sign-up system, according to The Wall Street Journal. So many sign-ups soon after the start of open enrollment is unusual, since it has typically been busier closer to deadlines.

The federal government is ramping up the enforcement of laws that require equal coverage of services for both mental and physical illnesses, The New York Times reported. This increased enforcement is expected to aid efforts to prevent the opioid epidemic from spreading any further. The government is now telling insurers that they need to cover drug addiction as they would for other conditions, such as cancer or depression.

California air regulators recently found high levels of hexavalent chromium in the air in industrial areas, as well as in neighborhoods. Exposure to hexavalent chromium over many years is known to cause lung cancer, but regulators say that the levels detected are not an immediate threat. They suggest that there is a need for swift action to figure out where the source of the pollution is coming from, and prevent further damage, according to the Los Angeles Times.