Study finds coverage for smoking cessation can be confusing

The Washington Post (12/18, Andrews) reports that “most people who smoke want to quit, and the 2010 health-care law is supposed to make it easier for them by requiring many insurance plans to cover smoking-cessation treatments with no out-of-pocket cost to members,” but a recent study suggests that “details” about who pays for it and what’s covered is inconsistent and confusing. After looking at 39 health plans in six states, researchers at the Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute found that coverage for smoking cessation was often unclear. The article says that “many contracts didn’t clearly state that the coverage was available, didn’t cover recommended treatments and/or didn’t provide it without cost-sharing.” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the group that commissioned the study, said that, “the study points out the need for the Department of Health and Human Services to provide much more specific guidelines.”

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