Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 6|18 Initiative, Minnesota’s Department of Health (MDH), Department of Human Services (DHS), and ClearWay MinnesotaSM, an independent nonprofit organization in Minnesota focused on reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, worked together to improve access to and use of tobacco cessation benefits among the state’s Medicaid population with the goal of reducing commercial tobacco use in this population. This was accomplished through improved, more uniform cessation treatment coverage across Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) and expanded outreach to Medicaid members to enhance awareness of Medicaid’s covered cessation benefits.

This spotlight outlines how Minnesota leveraged the 6|18 Initiative to ensure uniform implementation of expanded tobacco cessation benefits required by a 2015 state law that aligned tobacco cessation medication and counseling coverage with Affordable Care Act requirements.