State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Treatments and Barriers to Accessing Treatments — United States, 2008–2018
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State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Treatments and Barriers to Accessing Treatments — United States, 2008–2018

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    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      The prevalence of current cigarette smoking is approximately twice as high among adults enrolled in Medicaid (23.9%) as among privately insured adults (10.5%), placing Medicaid enrollees at increased risk for smoking-related disease and death (1). Medicaid spends approximately $39 billion annually on treating smoking-related Diseases (2). Individual, group, and telephone counseling and seven Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications* are effective in helping tobacco users quit (3). Comprehensive, barrier-free, widely promoted coverage of these treatments increases use of cessation treatments and quit rates and is cost-effective (3). To monitor changes in state Medicaid cessation coverage for traditional Medicaid enrollees| over the past decade, the American Lung Association collected data on coverage of nine cessation treatments by state Medicaid programs during December 31, 2008-December 31, 2018: individual counseling, group counseling, and the seven FDA-approved cessation medications|; states that cover all nine of these treatments are considered to have comprehensive coverage. The American Lung Association also collected data on seven barriers to accessing covered treatments.| As of December 31, 2018, 15 states covered all nine cessation treatments for all enrollees, up from six states as of December 31, 2008. Of these 15 states, Kentucky and Missouri were the only ones to have removed all seven barriers to accessing these cessation treatments. State Medicaid programs that cover all evidence-based cessation treatments, remove barriers to accessing these treatments, and promote covered treatments to Medicaid enrollees and health care providers could reduce smoking, smoking-related disease, and smoking-attributable federal and state health care expenditures (3-7).
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