Health & Safety

December 11, 2015

Ask the Doc

99th Medical Group

Q.   Does TRICARE cover services to help me quit tobacco?

A.  Yes, TRICARE pays for services, drugs and support to help you quit tobacco. You don’t need to have a tobacco-related illness to get these services. For more information, visit the Tobacco Cessation Services page.
TRICARE provides services, drugs and support to help you quit tobacco. You don’t need to be diagnosed with a tobacco-related illness to use tobacco cessation benefits.
• Benefits are available to all beneficiaries who aren’t eligible for Medicare
• Tobacco cessation counseling is currently covered under Medicare Part B
• If you’re eligible for Medicare, you must use Medicare for these types of services
Web-based Educational Materials
Web-based educational materials, self-help support, self-paced quit program and live online chat sessions from tobacco cessation coaches:
• 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
• Visit for details.

Tobacco Quitlines
Access to 24-hour toll-free support in the United States:
• North: 1-866-459-8766
• South: 1-877-414-9949
• West: 1-888-713-4597

Counseling Services
TRICARE covers tobacco cessation counseling from a TRICARE-authorized provider in the United States:
• TRICARE covers two quit attempts each year.
• A third quit attempt in the same year may be covered with physician justification and pre-authorization.
• Up to a total of 18 tobacco cessation counseling sessions (combination of individual and group) may be allowed per quit attempt; Only four sessions per quit attempt may be individual sessions, with the remaining 14 sessions as group sessions.

Tobacco Cessation Products
TRICARE covers tobacco cessation products at no cost, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products:
• You must have a prescription from a TRICARE-authorized provider
• Tobacco cessation products are covered through the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy. If you plan to fill your prescription at a military pharmacy, call ahead to see if it’s in stock.
• Available in the United States to all beneficiaries age 18 and older (who are not eligible for Medicare).
• Tobacco cessation products are also available to active duty service members and active duty family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime overseas at military pharmacies and through home delivery (where available), including U.S. Territories.
• Covered tobacco cessation products include:
– Varenicline tablets (brand name Chantix)
– Bupropion SR tablets (brand name Zyban and generics)
– Nicotine nasal spray (brand name Nicotrol NS)
– Nicotine inhalation (brand name Nicotrol)
– Nicotine transdermal (brand names Nicoderm CQ and Habitrol)
– Nicotine Gum (brand names Nicorette, Nicorelief and generics)
– Nicotine Lozenge (brand names Nicorette, Commit and generics)
• TRICARE will cover two quit attempts each year. A third quit attempt may be covered in a year with physician justification and preauthorization. For tobacco cessation medications, a quit attempt is 120 days of medication. If you also receive tobacco cessation counseling that overlaps your covered medication use by at least 60 days, it is considered a single quit attempt.
If you have Medicare, you can’t get these services through TRICARE. For information on Medicare’s benefit, visit Medicare’s Smoking & Tobacco page.

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