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Insurer Cigna eases rules for opioid addiction medication

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The health insurer Cigna has agreed to end a policy that required physicians to fill out extra paperwork before they could give patients a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

The move announced Friday comes after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman raised questions about whether Cigna’s requirement created unnecessary treatment delays.

In a statement, the Bloomfield, Connecticut-based insurer says the change will make it easier for customers to get medications they need and is part of the company’s broader effort to reduce opioid abuse by its customers.

Schneiderman, a Democrat, says he applauds Cigna’s action and encourages other insurers to take similar steps.

Medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment involves the use of specialized drugs, combined with therapy, to help addicts recover while minimizing withdrawal symptoms and craving.