Making the case for Medicaid funding of smoking cessation treatment programs: An application to State-Level health care savings

Academic Article


  • Background. In spite of cost-saving tobacco-dependence treatments, many state Medicaid programs offer only limited coverage for these treatments. This report builds a case for state-level financial benefits from funding smoking cessation treatment for Medicaideligible populations. Methods. Applying published cost estimates to state-specific data, we assessed potential health care savings from tobacco-dependence treatments for pregnant women, mothers exposing young children to secondhand smoke, and other adult Medicaid beneficiaries. Results. Across all three populations there was evidence for short-term positive returns on investment. Including counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, estimated net savings were $157,000 annually for pregnant women and their newborns, $33,000 annually within four years for children exposed to smoke at home, and $5 million annually within two years for the general adult Medicaid population in Alabama. Conclusions. Findings suggest that making tobacco-dependence treatment freely available to lowincome smokers can produce net savings for state governments within a short period of time.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCallum DM; Fosson GH; Pisu M
  • Start Page

  • 1922
  • End Page

  • 1940
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 4