What Is the Role of Health Insurance Coverage in Tobacco Use Cessation?
- Health insurance coverage of medication and counseling increases the use of effective treatments.18
- Although 66% of Americans under the age of 65 are insured through an employer,22only 24% of employers offer any coverage for tobacco-use treatment.23
Coverage of tobacco-use cessation treatment increases both use of effective treatment and the number of successful quit attempts.18
How Much Do Cessation Benefits Cost? Are They Cost Effective?
- Tobacco cessation is more cost-effective than other common and covered disease prevention interventions, such as the treatment of hypertension and high blood cholesterol.14
- Cost analyses have shown tobacco cessation benefits to be either cost–saving or cost–neutral.3, 20 Overall, cost/expenditure to employers equalizes at 3 years; benefits exceed costs by 5 years.3
- It costs between 10 and 40 cents per member per month to provide a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit (costs vary based on utilization and dependent coverage).19,24
- In contrast, the annual cost of tobacco use is about $3,400 per smoker or about $7.18 for each pack of cigarettes sold.4
- Neonatal health care costs related to smoking are equivalent to $704 for each maternal smoker.4 Randomized controlled trials indicate that a smoking cessation program for pregnant women can save as much as $6 for each $1 spent.25
What Is the Experience of Companies and Health Plans Providing This Benefit?
Businesses that have included a tobacco cessation benefit report that this coverage has increased the number of smokers willing to undergo treatment and increased the percentage that successfully quit.24, 26
|How Tobacco Cessation Cuts Cost|
How Do I Get More Information?
Listed below are Web sites where you can find additional information on tobacco-use cessation or reimbursement for cessation treatment.
Smoking Cessation Treatment Effectiveness
- Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence is a Public Health Service-sponsored clinical practice guideline that contains evidence-based strategies and recommendations to support effective treatment for tobacco use and nicotine addiction. The guideline and related consumer and clinician materials also can be found at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/.
- The Guide to Community Preventive Services provides information on the effectiveness of community-based interventions in three areas of tobacco-use prevention and control: (1) initiation of tobacco use, (2) cessation, and (3) reduction of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Articles, slide sets, and commentaries can be found at http://www.thecommunityguide.org/tobacco/.
- Surgeon General's Reports related to tobacco are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/index.htm.
- Data on tobacco-use prevalence and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality rates can be found at two CDC Web sites: Smoking & Tobacco Use at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/ and National Center for Health Statistics at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/.
Get email updates
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- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348