It’s never too late to quit smoking and improve your health. If you smoke and are ready to try quitting, Medicare will cover smoking-cessation counseling sessions. Medicare covers up to four sessions twice a year. During these sessions, a counselor will work with you one on one. (Medicare also covers a host of other valuable preventive care services.)
Medicare’s coverage depends upon whether you have a health condition related to or caused by smoking. If you have Original Medicare (also called traditional Medicare) and you do not have a smoking-related condition, Medicare will cover the full cost of your smoking cessation sessions so long as you visit a Medicare-certified provider. Smoking-cessation is one of many preventive care services that Medicare covers in full. If you have a corporate Medicare plan, sometimes called a Medicare Advantage plan, will cover the full cost from an in-network provider.
If you have a smoking-related condition, Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost of the sessions from a Medicare-certified provider. You will first need to meet your deductible. Supplemental insurance, such as a Medigap plan, retiree coverage or Medicaid, will generally fill these coverage gaps.
Medicare will also cover prescription drugs to help you quit smoking through the Part D prescription drug benefit. Medicare will not cover nicotine patches, gum or other over-the-counter treatments to quit smoking, It will also not cover hypnosis.
The folks at the tobacco companies are the only people who think you should keep smoking. This John Oliver video shows you what lengths they will go to to promote smoking around the world. It’s horrifying and really worth watching.
(This article was originally published on September 23, 2015 and has been updated.)
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