Gaps Remain Among States’ Medicaid Efforts To Help People Kick Smoking Habit

(By – Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health New)

The 2010 federal health law has a provision that was supposed to make it easier for people on Medicaid to quit smoking. But in a number of states, it’s not, so far, having widespread success.

That’s the main takeaway from a study published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs. The law says all state Medicaid programs have to cover tobacco cessation drugs — meaning they have to pay for things like nicotine patches, Chantix, nicotine gum or Wellbutrin, when patients are using them to try to quit smoking. But it leaves states relative freedom in how they go about doing so and what conditions they place on how the benefit is applied. Read more…

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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