Vermont Insurer to Pay for Methadone Treatment

MVP Health Care, one of the largest private health insurance companies in Vermont, has become the first in the state to agree to cover methadone treatment, the Rutland Herald reported May 4.

State officials hope that MVP Health Care's agreement to cover treatment at the Howard Center for Human Services in Burlington -- the state's only methadone program -- would lead other health insurance companies to do the same.

"We are making headway," said Bob Bick, director of adult services at the Howard Center. "Private insurance coverage not only makes methadone more accessible for those who need it, but it will begin to erode some of the stigma that comes with heroin addiction. People who are insured are more likely to be 'mainstream' because they have not hit bottom and lost everything."

Gary Hughes, a spokesman for MVP Health Care, said the company, which operates in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, currently provides methadone treatment coverage in other states.

"We have made no changes to our policy, but there is now a provider in Vermont for us to deal with," said Hughes. "Methadone has been proven to be effective. It is a covered benefit."

Currently, there are no members of MVP Health Care enrolled in the Howard Center.


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