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Most health ins. has smoking cessation

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WASHINGTON, Sep 20, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Almost all U.S. health insurance plans -- 98 percent -- provide full coverage for at least one type of smoking cessation intervention.

"These results show that health insurance plans have clearly expanded their leadership role in fighting the adverse health effects of tobacco use," said Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer, of America's Health Insurance Plan president.

The study, released by America's Health Insurance Plans and published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, found 47 percent of plans reported having a specific strategy to address smoking cessation during postpartum visits and following a heart attack.

Fifty-two percent of the plans reported having a specific strategy to address smoking cessation during treatment for chronic illness -- double the rates from five years earlier.

"As medical professionals learn more about what works to help people quit smoking, health plans are increasingly incorporating this knowledge into their coverage decisions," Ignagni said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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