Assessing Cessation Coverage among Health Insurers
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Deb Osborne, MPH
Assessing private and public insurers’ coverage of tobacco
cessation treatment is a great first step in understanding the gaps in
coverage within a state, as well as providing states an opportunity to
educate insurers on what constitutes comprehensive coverage and
available cessation resources.
Through NAQC’s private-public partnership (PPP) initiative, a number of
states have assessed private and public insurers about the cessation
benefits offered to their members/employees. States have employed
various assessment tools, including written survey instruments and
interview guides, as well as compiling benefit information for a segment
of the insurance market such as Medicaid Managed Care Organizations and
state employee benefits. Some state examples and links to resources
are listed below.
- Massachusetts worked with a private contractor to conduct in-person
interviews with their largest health plans. The contractor had a
history of working with health insurers and was very comfortable
administering an in-person verbal assessment using an Interview Guide
developed in collaboration with state staff. Massachusetts tobacco
program staff also compiled cessation coverage information for all the
insurance plans providing benefits to state employees. The information
was captured in a spreadsheet that clearly identified inconsistencies in coverage among the various plans.
- Kentucky adapted Colorado’s preventive services survey instrument to meet their state’s needs. The Kentucky survey instrument was used to assess cessation coverage among their largest health plans and employers, including their Medicaid MCOs.
- Colorado’s survey tool assesses a multitude of preventive service s including tobacco cessation coverage. A Summary Brief and Call-to-Action was developed utilizing the survey findings and shared with insurers who completed the survey, as well as other stakeholders.
- Rhode Island tobacco program staff worked collaboratively with
their largest health plans, who actively participate on their cessation
coalition, to develop an assessment tool for distribution to health plans in their state.
- Maryland enlisted interns from the University to develop an on-line survey tool that will be used in the future to assess coverage among their state’s largest health plans and employers.
- Additional information about state activities may be found in the 11 state briefs NAQC published last month
For additional information, please contact Deb Osborne
, Public -Private Partnership Initiative manager
Manager, Public-Private Partnerships Initiative
North American Quitline Consortium