The State of NY will now require fully-insured health plans to cover in full costs related to helping benefit plan members quit the use of “vaping”. This will include covering nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal spray in addition to screenings and interventions for children and adults. Under NY’s requirements. There will no member cost sharing for such services. Once thought to be a platform to help “smokers” quit, vaping has come under extraordinary scrutiny of late. According to the CDC, there have been at least 2,291 cases of serious lung illness related to e-cigarettes in the US in addition to an estimated 48 deaths. Health officials have yet to pinpoint the root cause behind the illness but some have suggested the ingredient THC with nicotine may be the cause.
It is widely expected that other states will follow NY and require plans to cover quitting aids for people vaping. Some states are considering an outright ban of the products which will likely result in legal challenges. We will provide further updates on this issue as it unfolds. Here is the link to the NY requirement: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-takes-further-action-address-e-cigarette-related-addiction-and-illnessesJoseph M DiBellaManaging Director, Executive Vice President
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