Gov. Matt Bevin has signed Senate 89 into law. Kentucky law now will require health insurance plans offered in the Commonwealth to provide coverage for all FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications, as well as tobacco cessation programs recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including individual, group, and telephone counseling. The law also prohibits insurance plans from requiring patients to try counseling first before medication, limiting the duration of services, or requiring copayments or other out-of-pocket cost sharing, including deductibles.
Following is a statement from Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky:
"This new law is a step in the right direction to reduce Kentucky's high smoking rate, which is tied to so many of our poor health statistics. Kentuckians can thank Gov. Bevin and Sens. Julie Raque Adams and Ralph Alvarado for making it a little bit easier for those who want to quit smoking to be successful. We know that 70 percent of smokers want to quit. By requiring insurance coverage and eliminating the kinds roadblocks that can keep smokers from taking advantage of covered nicotine-cessation programs, this legislation clears away the smoke and mirrors that has kept too many people from achieving their goal of being smoke-free. Congratulations to Senators Julie Raque Adams and Ralph Alvarado for shepherding the bill through the legislature."
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $26 million in health policy research and advocacy, as well as demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth