UPDATE: House votes in favor of smoking cessation coverage bill

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Cigarettes & Smoking

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Tuesday, the Kentucky House of Representatives voted 90 to 1 in favor of Senate Bill 89, which provides comprehensive smoking cessation coverage to Kentuckians on all health plans.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams, will remove barriers that limit patient access to the smoking cessation treatments recommended by the United States Preventative Services Task Force. The bill now awaits Governor Bevin’s signature.

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The American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Kentucky Medical Association released the following statement upon the bill’s passage through committee:

“Patient advocates and providers applaud the 2017 General Assembly and Sen. Julie Raque Adams for taking much needed action to address Kentucky’s smoking epidemic. Senate Bill 89 will reduce the number of smokers in the state by ensuring they can use the cessation treatments recommended by their doctors. We encourage Governor Bevin to sign this critical legislation into law to save lives and taxpayer dollars.”

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3-14-17 3:41 p.m.

House to consider smoking cessation coverage bill

Senate Bill 89, which would provide all Kentuckians with access to smoking cessation treatments prescribed by their physicians, will be heard in the House Health and Family Services Committee on Tuesday at noon. The bill passed the Senate with a 35 to 2 vote last Wednesday.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams, seeks to ensure smokers who want to quit have comprehensive coverage for the cessation medicines and services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. It will also eliminate barriers to care like step therapy and prior authorization.

A number of patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Kentucky Medical Association, are working to bring Senate Bill 89 to passage.

The Foundation for Healthy Kentucky also supports the measure. In a statement, CEO Ben Chandler said that the legislation will help improve health in Kentucky and save taxpayer money.