The Colorado Division of Insurance on Friday issued guidelines for the way insurance companies evaluate prescriptions for the anti-overdose drug naloxone, warning that filling such a prescription should not affect a person’s coverage or premiums.
“Insurers need to be aware that Colorado law permits the purchase of naloxone (Narcan) by a family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person during an opiate-related overdose,” the division wrote. “Therefore, as naloxone is unlikely to be used by a purchaser on oneself, an insurer cannot utilize information regarding the purchase of naloxone as part of evaluation of an application for insurance.”
Insurance companies are allowed to collect and consider information about an applicant’s health, including prescription medications, when initiating a policy. The agency’s statement applies to life insurance, annuity contracts, sickness and accident insurance and disability insurance.
Naloxone can restore normal breathing to someone whose respiration has slowed or stopped as the result of an opioid overdose. While professional training may be required, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that there are injectable and nasal spray methods that anyone can administer to someone experiencing an overdose.
The state cautioned of the negative public health impacts if someone were discouraged from filling an anti-overdose prescription out of fear for how it would affect their own eligibility for coverage.
The division will evaluate complaints from anyone who alleges being charged higher premiums, denied coverage or experiences a policy cancellation due to their procurement of naloxone.