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Cessation Insurance Coverage

Population-based interven­tions that effectively increase cessation should be implemented by employers and unions, insurers, healthcare administrators and clinicians, and be made available to all tobacco users. Interventions include barrier-free health-care coverage for cessation treatments. Health-care providers should consistently and routinely identify tobacco users, advise them to quit, and provide assistance to those engaged in a quit attempt.

A transformation of healthcare is underway. Significant policy and technology changes are driving sweeping changes. Some of these, like Meaningful Use of health information technology, are likely to increase interventions with tobacco users in healthcare settings or increase insurance coverage for cessation treatments. The chart below shows major categories of change.

 

Changing Healthcare_Landscape

 

Providing coverage for these treatments increases quit rates. Purchasers of insurance include federal and state governments, private employers, and unions. Purchasers and the insurance companies themselves should work together to make sure that all health plans include cessation counseling and all FDA-approved medications as covered benefits.

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