Stop Smoking With Medicaid

Most states cover smoking cessation programs for Medicaid recipients.  There are a few holdouts, however.  Until recently, Arizona was one of those states.

There is good news for Medicaid recipients in Arizona these days – especially when it comes to trying to stop smoking.  Governor Janet Napolitano signed a new bill – #1418 – into law Tuesday.  This new law allows Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System to cover smoking cessation costs for individuals who are enrolled.

Now that Arizona has created this law, there are only six states left in the country that do not cover the cost to quit smoking.  Arizona now pays 14% of its budget – about $316 million – on smoking-related illness each year.  This new law will help Arizona recover 67% of the costs involved through matching funds by the federal government.
As a result of dealing with smoking itself and eliminating it from peoples’ lives, the state hopes to save enough money so that there will be no negative financial impact on the general fund.

The law provides for nicotine replacement therapy and tobacco use reduction medications that are approved by the FDA.  John Rivers, President and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association stated that this is “a good fiscal policy because, over the long haul it will reduce the amount of money that the state will have to pay treating smoking-related diseases.  The legislature and the Governor are to be commended for moving Arizona in the right direction.”

Approximately 36% of Medicaid recipients are smokers.  Taxpayers pay the $316 million that has been being paid out.  Getting people off tobacco will save money for the people and for the state, as well as helping Medicaid recipients to attain better health. 

In addition to the program supporters that have already been mentioned, the American Cancer Society also supports the law to help get people off tobacco and help their health improve.

4 Responses to Stop Smoking With Medicaid

  • Nicotine is always addictive and you should limit consuming it`**

  • Connor Bell says:

    nicotine can really make you an addict, stay away from cigarettes in the first place ;;*

  • “‘- that seems to be a great topic, i really love it .,’

  • beverly fenton says:

    I have COPD ,conjestive failure and phamonia. I have just got out of the hospital. I want to quit, but have not been succesfull. I have no choice now. But I have anxity about quiting. while I was in the hospital, I done pretty good with the patch, but now that I’m home i can’t get help with the patch. Is ther some products out there that I could get help with that would help me quit? Besides chantex, as I can not take that pill. sincerely, beverly ps I live IN ohio

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