Are you new to individual health plans?  Have you had group or employer insurance where the health insurance premiums are low and there is no such animal as a High Deductible Health Plan?  Or can’t understand these Health Insurance Quotes? If that is your experience with Medical Insurance then you probably have no knowledge of how individual polices go through underwriting and actually get issued for coverage.  A person must qualify for individual insurance.  One of the areas that cause a denial of coverage is prescribed narcotic drug use.  Underwriters will view the use of narcotics for the relief of pain in two ways.  One view is that the use of pain medication is relieving a problem that perhaps will require surgery or some other medical intervention. The other concern is one called a “moral” concern.  In insurance language a “moral” hazard occurs when the behavior of the insured changes in ways that raises costs to the insurer since the insured person no longer bears the full costs of that behavior.  In other words, if you are taking narcotics for pain when the policy is issued, the chances are very good that you will begin to take more medication because you no longer have to pay for the full costs of the drugs.  That is why most carriers will deny coverage when an applicant is taking narcotics.  The other thing they may do is to issue the coverage but to “rider” the condition the pain medication is being taken for.  That means they will not pay for any treatment, procedu res, or medication for that condition. offers up a brief history of pain treatment.  “Ancient civilizations recorded on stone tablets accounts of pain and the treatments used: pressure, heat, water, and sun.  Early humans related pain to evil, magic, and demons.  Relief of pain was the responsibility of sorcerers, shamans, priests, and priestesses, who used herbs, rites, and ceremonies as their treatments.  The Greeks and the Romans were the first to advance a theory of sensation, the idea that the brain and the nervous system have a role in producing the perception of pain.  In the 19th century, pain came to dwell under a new domain-science paving the way for advances in pain therapy.”  And that is when all our modern day problems with pain medication started.  They discovered that opium, morphine, codeine, and cocaine could be used to treat pain.

Cleveland Clinic has some interesting non-drug treatments for pain.  Botox and nerve blocks for migraine, tension or chronic headaches.  Botox offers relief for up to four months.  Nerve blocks can offer relief for up to nine months. Radiofrequency waves, called transdiscal biacuplasty, significantly reduces chronic low back pain.  Also for low back pain they recommend acupuncture and an anti-inflammatory diet, coupled with regular exercise.

Scientific American actually offers the best suggestion in my opinion. It certainly is the most cost effective.  They claim that looking at a picture of a loved one can dull physical pain.

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