How Medicaid Can Help Enrollees Quit Smoking

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an informational bulletin with strategies that states have used to improve delivery of tobacco cessation services to beneficiaries of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  States are required to cover certain services for certain groups. For example, counseling and pharmacotherapy for enrollees who are pregnant must be covered. Coverage for other services, such as over-the-counter medications, is optional.  All recommended tobacco cessation services – including individual, group and telephone counseling, and all seven FDA-approved cessation medications – are Medicaid or CHIP-coverable services, and the bulletin provides resources and strategies states can use to increase quit rates. Medicaid is an important source of health coverage in rural areas, where smoking rates are often higher than in urban areas.

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