- Medicare provides coverage for smoking cessation, including prescription medications and counseling services.Coverage is provided through Medicare parts B and D or through a Medicare Advantage plan.Quitting smoking has many advantages, and there are lots of resources to help you along the journey.
You can get coverage for smoking cessation through original Medicare (parts A and B) — specifically Medicare Part B (medical insurance). You can also get coverage under a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan.Medicare considers smoking cessation services to be preventive care. This means that in many cases, you don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.Keep reading to find out more about what Medicare covers to help you quit smoking.
Smoking cessation services fall under Medicare Part B, which covers a variety of preventive services.
You’re covered for up to two attempts at quitting each year. Each attempt includes four face-to-face counseling sessions, for a total of eight covered sessions per year.
Along with counseling, your doctor might recommend prescription medications to help you quit smoking. Medicare Part B doesn’t cover prescriptions, but you can purchase this coverage with a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan. A Part D plan will help you cover these costs.
You can get these services under a Medicare Advantage plan too. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C plans, are required to offer the same coverage as original Medicare.
Some Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage, as well as additional smoking cessation help that original Medicare doesn’t cover.
During counseling sessions to help you stop smoking, a doctor or therapist will give you personalized advice on how to quit. You’ll get help with:
- making a plan to quit smoking
- identifying situations that trigger your urge to smoke
- finding alternatives that can replace smoking when you have the urge
- removing tobacco products, as well as lighters and ashtrays, from your home, car, or office
- learning how quitting can benefit your health
- understanding the emotional and physical effects you might go through while quitting
You can get counseling in a few different ways, including by phone and in group sessions.
Phone counseling offers all the support of in-office sessions but you don’t have to leave your home.