For the first time, Wisconsin Medicaid now covers all seven FDA-approved medications to help people quit tobacco use. As of February 1, 2016, Wisconsin Medicaid added coverage for the nicotine lozenge and mini-lozenge.
FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications include:
- Nicotine patch, lozenge, gum, inhaler, and nasal spray.
- Varenicline (Chantix).
- Bupropion (Zyban/Wellbutrin).
Studies have shown that combining the nicotine patch with the nicotine lozenge can give smokers a terrific chance to quit, especially if combined with counseling from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
UW-CTRI Outreach Director Rob Adsit has been working with Medicaid for about a decade to add coverage for nicotine lozenges.
“I’m pleased that Wisconsin Medicaid now covers all 7 FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications,” Adsit said. “I believe that the nicotine lozenge has the potential to help many Wisconsin Medicaid members.”
While about 17% of Wisconsinites smoke, 36% of Wisconsin Medicaid recipients smoke (BRFSS, 2014 data). Many recipients also have behavioral health issues or other risk factors for prolonged addiction. For more information, see this fact sheet.