Consumer Advisory: August 31 is Overdose Awareness Day

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Vincent Plymell

Coverage of medication to prevent opioid overdose is required by your insurance company.

DENVER - Across Colorado, opioid use and overdoses continue to present a major public health concern. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), 1,799 people in Colorado fatally overdosed in 2022 - nearly twice the amount of people in 2018.

The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 by reminding Colorado consumers that health insurance plans regulated by the Colorado DOI are required to cover the medication naloxone, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone comes in two forms, a nasal spray and intramuscular injection. Consumers should review their health plan information to verify which form of naloxone is covered, as well as any copay or coinsurance amounts. A prescription from a medical or behavioral health provider is not required to get naloxone from a pharmacy in Colorado.

In addition, Colorado-DOI-regulated health plans must cover medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders (SUD), including opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and nicotine dependence, and they cannot require step therapy or prior authorization for consumers to get the medication they need.

How can you tell if your health insurance is regulated by the Colorado Division of Insurance? Look at your insurance card - if “CO-DOI” appears on it, then your plan is regulated by the Colorado DOI. 

Mental Health Parity and Insurance
Federal and state law requires that health insurance companies cover mental health and SUD benefits comparably to other medical conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. This is called “parity.” Visit the DOI’s website on Mental / Behavioral Health and Insurance to learn more. 

If you have questions about your health insurance, including mental and behavioral health benefits, please contact the Colorado DOI Consumer Services Team: 303-894-7490 / / (click on “file a complaint”)


About the Division of Insurance:

The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745

About DORA:

DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675

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