When it comes to kicking the smoking habit, what works for one person may not work for another. That is one reason the Affordable Care Act requires all insurance plans to include a variety of programs and medications to those wanting to stop.
James Martinez is a spokesperson for the American Lung Association and says they researched all the plans available through the health insurance marketplace nationwide and found that only 60 plan issuers out of 348 meet federal guidelines.
Martinez says, “In Nebraska, we found that not one of the four insurance plans is in full compliance with the Affordable Care Act guidance.”
According to the ACA and federal guidance, plans need to include:
- At least four session of individual, group and phone cessation counseling
- All FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications that include the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, nasal spray and inhaler, bupropion and varenicline
- At least two quit attempts per year
- No cost sharing including co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles
- No prior authorization requirements.
Martinez says the insurance plans were reviewed within the first two months of this year and there is a possibility now that more are in compliance.