Researchers estimate that cutting smoking in each state by 1% in a year would lower the cost to taxpayer-supported Medicaid by $2.6 billion the following year, including more than $60 million a year in Ohio, according to findings of a new study (Source: “Cutting smoking could save Medicaid $2.6B during a year, study says,” United Press International, April 12, 2019).
According to the study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, a 1% drop would have median savings of $25 million for states each year, with California leading at more than $630 million.
The researchers looked at state-by-state rates of Medicaid recipients who also smoked. They figured that reducing smoking in that group by 1% would lower per-capita health care spending by 0.118%.
Researchers estimate that 15% of U.S. Medicaid costs are attributable to cigarette smoking. Fourty-six percent of working-age Ohio Medicaid enrollees were current smokers in 2017.