You know you need to-you've tried before-and you don't
want to let yourself or your family down. But now you are truly ready to quit
smoking. Before you get started, check to see how your health plan can be one
more ally on the journey. Smoking cessation treatments including medications,
therapies and generic over-the-counter aids-are a preventive benefit included
in many health plans. So, when you are ready for a smoke-free life, here's how
to get help.
Find your why
Whether it’s saving money or having more energy, it’s
imperative to find the reason behind your motivation to quit smoking. Since
quitting is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your
health, sticking to a cessation plan is imperative to keep you from starting to
use tobacco again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give a few reasons
to live tobacco free:
leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
is the leading cause of preventable death.
average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
Consider prescription medications
cigarettes and using tobacco is both a physical addiction (nicotine) and a
psychological habit. To help support the physical readjustment, several
prescription medications are available to lessen nicotine withdrawal symptoms
and help prevent relapse. If your doctor prescribes a NRT (nicotine replacement
therapy) nasal spray and inhaler, the nicotine is absorbed orally through the
esophagus and stomach rather than through the lungs.
such as NRT, Bupropion (generic for Zyban) and Chantix are covered in full for
Premera members with ACA (metallic) plans. For older individual plans or plans
you get through your employer, check to see which tobacco cessation treatments
are covered by logging on to your premera.com account and select Benefits, or call
customer service at the number on your ID card.
your pharmacy benefit to see how a drug is covered
with your plan (brand name or generic). If your health plan includes
prescription drug coverage, present your doctor's prescription and member card
to the pharmacist to receive this benefit.
Prioritize your mental
Medication is incredibly helpful when you're trying to
quit, but it’s not the only treatment available. You need to understand the psychological
or underlying reason for your use in order to kick the habit. Together with
your doctor, you can explore behavioral or mental health therapies which may
boost success rates higher than medicines alone to help you stay smoke-free. According
to a study done by Multidisciplinary
Respiratory Medicine, “Interventions which include both behavioral
and pharmacological therapy have been shown to be most effective, with success
rates between 22 and 45% .”
Smoking impacts not only the lives of the smoker but
family members as well who may also benefit from therapy. Many of these
therapies are covered by your health plan, but check specifics of your plan on
the type of therapy and number of sessions each year that are covered.
Get help over the counter
symptoms are interfering with your work, for example, people can opt to
eliminate nicotine in a more gradual manner. This can be done with the help of
smoking cessation aids, such as gum, patches, and lozenges. These generic,
over-the-counter cessation aids may be used alone or with other treatments, but
talk to your doctor about how best to use these to support your cessation
Premera now covers [AB1] these options in full, provided they
are obtained with a written prescription. A note on getting reimbursed: when
using an over-the-counter product, you'll want to submit a prescription claim reimbursement form that includes the drug's
National Drug Code (NDC), found on the product package underneath the bar code.
you get your health plan through your workplace, check with your benefits
manager to see if your employer offers incentive (or reward) programs to
encourage you to quit smoking.
How to stop smoking is different for each person. It may
take several attempts to quit, but even trying is worth it-to yourself and your
family. For tips on how to quit smoking, go online to American Lung Association, or Quit.com.