SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah


Private insurance covers almost 40 percent of people with opioid addiction. Yet, amid an epidemic with profound consequences for individual and public health, private insurers continue to fuel addiction by favoring addictive but affordable pain therapies over nonaddictive ones and by placing unreasonable, sometimes unlawful, hurdles and delays in the ways of addiction treatment. Action must be taken now to address these harms. Laws like the ACA and the MHPAEA need greater enforcement, while gaps in these laws can and should be addressed through broader federal and state initiatives. Private insurers must be regulated, and swiftly, to ensure that people with SUD and our nation stand a chance of recovering from this epidemic.