Oklahoma Becomes 1st State To Expand Medicaid Coverage To Include Opioid Treatment

Oklahoma now has a new tool to help fight opioid addiction in the state.

Tuesday, March 16th 2021, 5:19 pm



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Oklahoma now has a new tool to help fight opioid addiction in the state.

The federal government has approved the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma to pay for different treatments. Oklahoma is now the first state in the entire country to offer this coverage and state leaders said it's a big help.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority said this federal approval allows for Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for prescriptions that treat opioid addiction like methadone, naltrexone and others.

It also covers opioid use disorder treatment services like counseling and behavior therapy.

Deputy Medicaid Director Traylor Rains said this will help about 3,500 Oklahomans on Medicaid right now, but with expansion coming July 1, even more Oklahomans will be able to use the services.

Rains said this is a great tool to help Oklahomans and the state as we battle the opioid crisis.

"I think it's crucial to fighting this opioid epidemic that we're seeing as a country,” said Rains. “Some of these services have been previously reimbursed through state only dollars appropriated to the department of mental health and substance abuse services. By now allowing this as a reimbursable opportunity through Sooner Care, we're really freeing up other state dollars."

These services are retroactive, meaning they're covered starting October 1st of 2020.


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