The mental health care arm of a managed care company is expanding coverage options for patients hooked on heroin and similar drugs.

The Eden Prairie, Minn-based behavioral health unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says it will be paying for office-based induction with buprenorphine, a treatment for heroin addiction and other forms of opiate addiction that can be prescribed and monitored on an outpatient basis.

CIGNA Behavioral Health will be working with CIGNA’s pharmacy management arm to identify CIGNA members who may be abusing prescription opiates and may benefit from buprenorphine treatment, CIGNA says.