Study: Rising Opioid Addiction and Overdose Costs Reach $2.6 Bil - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Study: Rising Opioid Addiction and Overdose Costs Reach $2.6 Billion in 2016

Posted: Apr 06, 2018 1:33 AM Updated:
(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

The findings from a new report that said large employers spent $2.6 billion to treat opioid addiction and overdoses in 2016 wasn't surprising to some business and insurance experts in Delaware.

The analysis released Thursday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation finds such spending cost companies and workers about $26 per enrollee in 2016.

Judy Diogo with the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce said an eightfold increase in the cost of addiction and overdose treatment since 2004 has hurt workers.

"Something has to give --- and what normally has to give, somewhere along the line are the benefits and employment," she said.

Employers have been limiting insurance coverage of opioids because of concerns about addiction. The report finds spending on opioid prescriptions falling 27 percent from a peak in 2009.

Researchers analyzed insurance claims from employers with more than 1,000 workers. Most are self-insured, meaning they assume the financial risk.

But John Still with Still Insurance Agency said the study's findings don't necessarily represent the true costs of addiction on people's lives.

"It starts out with medical treatment, then it goes to absence from work, then it goes to incarceration."

Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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