In the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Indiana is cited as one of seven states providing comprehensive tobacco treatment coverage for Medicaid.
The MMWR series is frequently cited as the “voice of the CDC,” and is the agency’s primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative and accurate public health information and recommendations.
According to the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, the tobacco-related story, “State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Treatments and Barriers to Coverage – United States, 2008-2014” says that more smokers would quit if state Medicaid programs covered more cessation treatments and removed barriers to coverage. Authored by the American Lung Association, the document compares states’ Medicaid coverage for tobacco treatment from 2008.
“Indiana Medicaid is doing a good job of providing coverage to help Hoosiers quit tobacco,” said Miranda Spitznagle, Director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana State Department of Health. “We encourage all employers and health insurers to provide comprehensive coverage for tobacco treatment.”
The study found that efforts to expand state Medicaid coverage to cover all smoking cessation treatments and remove barriers to coverage have shown gradual progress over the past six years. Medicaid enrollees smoke at a higher rate than the general population, and smoking-related disease is a significant contributor to Medicaid costs. States could reduce smoking-related morbidity, mortality and health care costs among Medicaid enrollees by providing Medicaid coverage for all evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments, removing all barriers to access these treatments, promoting cessation and monitoring treatment use.
Tobacco-dependence treatments are highly cost-effective; however, coverage for tobacco dependence treatments differs from state to state. The Indiana State Department of Health works in partnership with the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) to ensure that Hoosiers who use tobacco products are assisted in their efforts to quit tobacco. As a result, Indiana covers all Food & Drug Administration-approved tobacco cessation medications and counseling sessions for all Medicaid recipients.
“Since nearly half of all pregnancies in Indiana are covered by Medicaid, we believe it is particularly important to continue providing smoking cessation services for pregnant mothers, as studies show that healthier babies are born to non-smoking mothers,” said Indiana Medicaid Director, Joe Moser. “These sorts of healthy outcomes are another reason we cover tobacco cessation as part of Medicaid and in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), services that could benefit more Hoosiers in a potential HIP expansion.”
Medicaid is a division of FSSA.
Those who stop smoking dramatically will reduce their risk for heart attacks, asthma attacks, cancers and other diseases. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a free service to help Hoosiers quit tobacco for good. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more or visitwww.QuitNowIndiana.com or www.EQuitNow.com
Advising a tobacco user to quit is one of the most important interventions health care providers can do with their patients. The free Quit Now Preferred Provider Program gives health care providers proven, professional resources to help patients kick their addiction to tobacco. Preferred Providers with the Quit Now Referral Network receive exclusive tobacco cessation resources and materials. To learn more, visitwww.IndianaQuitline.net.