This afternoon, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 89, which would require health insurance plans offered in Kentucky to provide coverage for programs proven to help smokers quit for good. The bill also would prohibit insurers from setting up barriers that make it harder for Kentuckians to access these programs. Following is a statement from Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky:

“The Kentucky legislature has recognized today that we ought to be on the side of helping Kentuckians who want to quit smoking. That we ought to break down the roadblocks that have made it harder for smokers to get the treatment they need to quit. And that we ought to help Kentuckians experience both the immediate and long-term health benefits of overcoming this addiction. The evidence shows that the most effective way to improve Kentucky’s health is to reduce our smoking rates, which are the absolute highest in the nation. Reducing smoking in Kentucky also will save billions in both insurance company expenditures and taxpayer dollars.

“Special thanks to Sen. Julie Raque Adams for shepherding this bill through the legislature, and for the support she won from her Senate and House colleagues.”

About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $26.7 million in health policy research and advocacy, as well as demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
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Media Contacts:
Bonnie J. Hackbarth
502-326-2583 (office)
502-552-3770 (mobile)
bhackbarth@healthy-ky.org  
or
Angela Koch
502-326-2583 (office)
akoch@healthy-ky.org