NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Insurance Expansions on Smoking Cessation Medication Use: Evidence from Recent Medicaid Expansions

Johanna Catherine Maclean, Michael F. Pesko, Steven C. Hill

NBER Working Paper No. 23450
Issued in May 2017, Revised in September 2017
NBER Program(s):HC, HE

We explore the early effects of recent Medicaid expansions on prescriptions and Medicaid payments for evidence-based smoking cessation medications: Zyban, Chantix, and Nicotrol. We estimate differences-in-differences models using data on the universe of prescription medications sold in retail and online pharmacies for which Medicaid was a third-party payer. Our findings suggest that expansions increased smoking cessation prescriptions by 36% and total payments for these medications by 28%. We provide evidence that these payments were financed by Medicaid programs and not patients. Overall our findings suggest that the recent Medicaid expansions allowed low-income smokers to access efficacious cessation medications.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23450

 
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