Indiana Smoking Attributable Medicaid Expenditures

April 2017

Despite a decline in smoking prevalence over the past ten years, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and is responsible for more than one in five deaths annually. Describing the negative health effects of smoking is powerful in the effort to reduce overall smoking prevalence; however, translating these negative effects into economic terms may be more persuasive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion annually, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults. This report provides an estimate of smoking attributable Medicaid expenditures in Indiana. The results of this current analysis are consistent with the prevailing research and indicate that smokers are nearly 17 percentage points more likely to have smoking-attributable health consequences relative to nonsmokers (35.8% vs. 19.2%), which likely drives the fact that smokers have 51% higher monthly Medicaid expenditures than non-smokers. This translates to an estimated $540 million in smoking-attributable health care expenditures annually.