People in Louisiana who want to stop smoking will be able to take advantage of a six-month smoking cessation treatment provided by health insurers beginning August 1 – under a new law signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. Cancer Advocacy Group Executive Director Chad Landry believes the availability of treatment will help a large population of smokers in Louisiana
“It makes sense to spend a dollar and save six in the future. Let’s get people off of smoking and Louisiana up the health rankings ’cause everybody knows we’re currently in just about every health ranking there is.”
The mandate applies to both private health insurance and Medicaid. Benefits include nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges and nasal spray, and prescription medication. Individual and group counseling are also covered. Metairie Representative Laurie Schlegel says the state brings in millions in tax revenue but there’s limited spending on combating tobacco use.
“I do think we don’t put enough resources in preventative care and we can save a lot of money but also help save people’s health.”
Under the new law, the insured will not be subject to deductibles, co-insurance, co-payments, or any other out-of-pocket payments. All the insured person needs is a recommendation from their doctor. Bossier City Republican Representative Raymond Crews…
“In appropriations, we see Department of Health regularly and we spend a lot of money on things that don’t seem to make a difference and this one sounds like one that’s really going to make a difference.”
Louisiana has the 11th highest percentage among U.S. states of adults who smoke, according to the American Lung Association.