Introduction: Medicaid recipients are disproportionately affected by tobacco-related disease because their smoking prevalence is approximately 53% greater than that of the overall US adult population. This study estimates state-level smoking-attributable Medicaid expenditures.
Methods: We used state-level and national data and a 4-part econometric model to estimate the fraction of each state's Medicaid expenditures attributable to smoking. These fractions were multiplied by state-level Medicaid expenditure estimates obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to estimate smoking-attributable expenditures.
Results: The smoking-attributable fraction for all states was 11.0% (95% confidence interval, 0.4%-17.0%). Medicaid smoking-attributable expenditures ranged from $40 million (Wyoming) to $3.3 billion (New York) in 2004 and totaled $22 billion nationwide.
Conclusion: Cigarette smoking accounts for a sizeable share of annual state Medicaid expenditures. To reduce smoking prevalence among recipients and the growth rate in smoking-attributable Medicaid expenditures, state health departments and state health plans such as Medicaid are encouraged to provide free or low-cost access to smoking cessation counseling and medication.