View Full Version : Suboxone - Son wants to start but cannot afford it

01-23-2008, 01:15 PM
My son wants to start suboxone, the problem is he is on medicaid. No help there.

It seems to be a cash only business or private insurance only business.

Need to know where people find doctors and medication which is affordable. Tell me the normal costs are, thankyou.

Location NJ

01-23-2008, 01:36 PM
It is very expensive, isn't it?! I just started on Subutex (Suboxone without Naloxone) and here is what I have paid so far:
Initial visit w/ dr for consultation = $150.00
1st Rx of Subutex (w/insurance) = $20.00
2nd visit w/ dr to find out how the weekend went = $75.00
2nd Rx = $20.00

I just started last Friday, the 18th and I have to see the dr every Tues and Friday. The rest of my appointments will cost $50.00 each and every Rx will be $20.00. I have insurance that will cover everything, but I have to pay cash first and then wait for a reimbursment. As far as the Rx itself, I have a $20.00 copay for non-generic meds, so that is all I pay, but to give you an idea of the whole cost, I was prescribed 3 pills to last from Tuesday night until Friday morning, taking 1/2 pill twice a day, if I didn't have insurance, those 3 pills would have cost me $31.50.

But, it is working wonderfully and I fully recommend it. If you can get the money together or even talk with the clinic about making payments, it is worth it. Think about all the money spent going to dr's and getting narcotics! It adds up fast!

Good Luck!

01-23-2008, 03:59 PM
I think medicaid will cover the suboxone itself, just not the doctor visit. Most of the sub doctors don't accept insurance, because they overcharge and can get away with it. I was able to find a doctor for $100 a month, and that included a session with her (a shrink), then i also had to pay $20 every month for group therapy, run by another woman. I did pay $200 a month the 1st few visits. There are LOTS of sub doctors now so shop around. Personally I think getting it from a shrink makes more sense...kind of like a 2 for 1 deal, as opposed to seeing a medical dr and shrink separately. Most sub doctors will insist on some type of counceling, and it really is a good idea, so he can learn to control his triggers...the things that make him use.

If he does have to pay for suboxone, they go for about $5-6 each, and depending on his habit, he may only need 1/2 a pill a day, which would be less than $3 a day...I'm sure way less than his habit is costing him even with the doctors fees.

He would probably need to stay on it for 6-12 months, give or take.

I wish him luck...if he has tried to quit on his own and has been unsuccessful, and has a true desire to quit, sub can be a powerful tool.


01-23-2008, 04:40 PM
i dont understand, here in cleveland there are a million doctors who take medicaid. i have several friends who are on it and getting the sub and also group therapy. have you checked all the doctors and avenues? i cant believe it would be so different there !!! if so, how unfair !!! i wish you and your son luck, it would be a great tool for him to use in his quest for sobriety !!!


01-23-2008, 05:03 PM
Cram - I am a caseworker in Family and Children's Medicaid in my state.

I found this information for you, I hope it helps somehow:


(I don't work in NJ and, although Medicaid is a Federal program, there are nuances in state/commonwealth law. Now THAT sounds like govt, huh?)

I wish you the very best and for your son.


01-24-2008, 10:07 AM
DroopyEyes, thank you for the site, I had it before my computer crashed awhile ago, so this is angel sent from you :). Lots of resources to choose from, suboxone isn't one of them. Suboxone isn't listed anywhere, methadone is. A big NO for methadone.

Medicaid here pays for basic health and medical services, I don't know about what prescriptions they will pay for.

If I remember correctly, todays visit will cost him $300 for a months supply, each month afterwards $150. (I am guessing the doctor provides the suboxone?) Ca-***** for these doctors and pharmaceutical companies. That comes out to be $5 a day.

Which he doesn't have.....I am waiting for him to ask me for it. How do you say no? I can't. cram315

01-24-2008, 11:06 AM
Cram, I'll bet the $300 is just for the doctors fee. That is a typical price to get started on it from a private doctor, but again, medicaid should pay for the drug itself.

It's almost criminal really, because there is nothing more to it than a regular doctors visit, but these doctors know people will pay anything to avoid withdrawl sickness, and they are getting rich on others misfortune. It used to be much worse too...doctors were only allowed to have 30 patients at a time on sub up until about a year ago, so lots of them were charging $1,000 or more for the initial consult and startup. Now they have raised the limit to 100 patients, and in a few years it will be available in generic form, greatly reducing the cost.

Is he seeing a medical doctor or a shrink for the treatment? Most sub doctors insist on some type of counceling, because they are encouraged to do so in their special training they have to take to get licensed to dispense the drug (a weekend course). Not all doctors are licensed to dispense it...in fact most are not, which is another reason for the high costs they charge. It's like everything else...prices are based on supply and demand, and there is a great deal of demand for opiate addiction treatment, and a limited supply of places to get it from.

When you think about it though, $5 a day is a lot cheaper than supporting an opiate habit.

Keep us posted on his experience, and perhaps you can get him to start posting here as well. You should see a huge improvement in his behavior soon, with any luck.

best wishes, mano

01-27-2008, 03:31 PM
You should call the Medicaid provider that your son has and ask for their chemical dependency benefits coordinator. Most medicaid plans pay for the medication and the doctor visits as well. there are often research studies and free programs that come up that your son may qualify for. If he can't afford $5 per day for the medication how is he paying for his Vicodin habit?
Good luck to you - your son is lucky to have someone who cares so much!!