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Arizona Smokers’ Helpline


Cost of Smoking to Employers

Provide your employees with tobacco cessation coaching services by ASHLine for proven success.

Employer-sponsored health insurance must cover tobacco cessation as a preventive service without prior authorization for treatments and no cost sharing. Tobacco users may be charged up to 50% more for insurance premiums compared to non-tobacco users. However, employers must provide a reasonable alternative program. Common reasonable alternative programs are smoking cessation programs that include behavioral counseling combined with medication support.

Coverage is considered compliant with ACA standards if the following are covered without cost-sharing or prior authorization:

  • 4 sessions of individual, group and phone counseling
  • 90 days of all FDA-approved smoking cessation medications
  • 2 quit attempts per year1

What Smoking Is Costing You

Arizona Prevalence Data and Costs:

  • 14% of adults
  • 8,300 deaths per year2
  • $2.38 Billion in annual healthcare costs
  • $2 Billion in productivity loss3

Costs of Tobacco for Employers and ROI:

  • $6,000 per year in annual excess costs for a private US company to employ a smoker4
  • Annual cost to a business with 100 employees and a 16% smoking rate: 16 smokers x $6,000 excess costs = $96,000 in annual excess costs per year
  • Tobacco cessation benefit programs (counseling and medication) result in positive return on investment within the first year just due to productivity increases and after two years due to medical cost savings5

ASHLine’s comprehensive tobacco cessation program includes:

  • 24/7 live answer
  • Effective, evidence-based behavioral support from highly trained quit coaches
  • Weekly proactive phone coaching with text and web-based support
  • Services in both English and Spanish
  • Flexible billing schedules (e.g., per- member per-month, per service, per enrollment, etc.)
  • Promotion and recruitment materials Comprehensive data reporting program
  • Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy delivered directly to the employee’s home

 

SOURCES

United States Department of Labor. Frequently Asked Questions about Affordable Care Act Implementation. May, 2014.

  1. Arizona Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking-attributable mortality, morbidity, and Economic Costs (SAMMEC): 2005-2009.
  3. Berman M, Crane R, Seiber E, Munur M. Estimating the Cost of a Smoking Employee. Tobacco Control 2013.
  4. American Health Plan Insurance. Making the Business Case for Tobacco Cessation. Retrieved from http://www.businesscaseroi.org

Call 1-800-55-66-222 to get started.

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