Medicaid

Bill Would Help NJ Medicaid Recipients Quit Smoking

May 18, 2018

A bill advancing in the New Jersey legislature would expand Medicaid coverage to help smokers quit.

Corrine Orlando with the American Heart Association says about 14 percent of Medicaid recipients in New Jersey smoke.

"It remains the one preventable cause of death and the New Jersey Medicaid program spends over a billion dollars a year just treating smoking related illnesses."

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway is also a doctor. He says easier access to tobacco cessation services could decrease hospital admissions.

A New Jersey pilot program will allow Ocean County residents who believe they improperly received Medicaid benefits to withdraw from the program without fear of criminal prosecution.

State comptroller Phil Degnan says the recent arrests of 26 Lakewood residents for public assistance fraud got him thinking about what kind of program to offer.