| Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Smokers Need Help to Quit

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicare covers quit smokingTobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally. It is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In the United States alone, about one in 5 deaths is caused by smoking or breathing secondhand smoke.

Smoking is one of the main risk factors for cancer, lung disease and cardiovascular disease. In addition, on average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fortunately, people who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death. And many smokers want to quit. WHO notes that counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.

Get Help From Medicare

The Medicare Part B preventive services benefit covers counseling to help you quit smoking. You can get up to 8 face-to-face counseling visits in a 12-month period. If your first try doesn’t do it, you can try again starting 12 months from your first session.

You must receive the counseling from a qualified doctor or other Medicare-recognized provider. Copayments and the Part B deductible do not apply to quit smoking counseling, as long as you have no symptoms of tobacco-related disease and the provider accepts Medicare assignment.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition caused or complicated by tobacco use, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the quit smoking counseling . You may also be required to pay a hospital copayment for counseling you receive in a hospital outpatient setting.

Considering Quitting?

Every year, on May 31, WHO and its partners around the globe mark World No Tobacco Day. This year’s campaign focus is to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. WHO statistics show that this is a cost-effective way to reduce tobacco demand.

Any day is a good day to quit smoking. World No Tobacco Day may provide just the inspiration you need. Imagine joining with thousands around the globe to help eliminate tobacco, improve your health and rid your loved ones of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Smokers can and do quit smoking. For help, call the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW or 1-800-784-8669 (TTY 1-800-332-8615).

For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


I’m Ready to Quit: Get help from the CDC’s Quit Smoking program.

Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.


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