Still Smoking? Your Health Insurance May Help You Stop

With the new year around the corner, perhaps you have been thinking about changes you want to make, and quitting smoking is one of them. Maybe you’ve attempted to quit smoking. Or maybe you were successful but, with the stressors of the last few years, began to smoke again. Today there are more ways than ever to quit smoking. Your health plan may be the partner you need.

Health costs are about 40 percent higher for smokers than nonsmokers, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. This gives health insurers a big incentive to help their members quit smoking.

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most health insurance plans now cover smoking cessation treatments at various levels. Medicare plans offer at least four individual counseling sessions with no cost share as well as medications, such as nasal sprays to help reduce nicotine cravings. Both the American Lung Association and www.smokefree.gov offer interactive programs that can guide you through smoking cessation.

For employed individuals, smoking may be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Going outside, especially if you work in a high-rise or in congested areas, may make you appear less productive than your nonsmoking colleagues. It’s in your employer’s interest for you to quit or cut back, so ask your human resources department what your work health plan offers to help you quit.

If you’re ready to try to stop smoking, there’s no time like the present. If you have questions about what your healthcare provider can offer to help you quit, call or email us today, and let’s get you on your way.