Tobacco Surcharge Delayed - Jan. 1, 2011

STATE OF TENNESSEE
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

Laurie Lee, Executive Director                                         June 30, 2009

Dear Plan Member:

As you know, on May 1, 2009, the State’s health plans launched a Tobacco Quit Initiative. Since that time, nearly 10,000 plan members made the choice to quit using tobacco. This is an amazing response, and as you might imagine, we have received a large number of personal testimonials from people who have wanted to quit and now have been able to do so with the help of the tobacco quit aids, seminars and other supports.

On June 16, 2009, the General Assembly passed a new law (SB0205/HB0280). This law delays the Tobacco Use Surcharge until 2011. We are therefore postponing the date of the surcharge by one year, until January 1, 2011.

We had planned to use the surcharge revenue to pay for the new, expanded coverage of the tobacco quit supports. With the postponement of the surcharge, we considered suspending coverage of the quit aids because of the new, unexpected expense. However, because so many members are now using the tobacco quit supports, we are going to continue coverage at the $5 copay level until December 31, 2009.

If you use tobacco and are considering quitting, please talk to your doctor about the right approach for you. If you act now, you can use your insurance card to get the drugs, gums, patches or lozenges for $5 through the end of this year.

If you ever wanted to quit, you have every reason to do so now, and you have all the supports that you need.

Sincerely,
Laurie Lee

www.state.tn.us/finance/ins/