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New health care law might penalize
smokers as insurers could charge
them up to 50 percent more

Associated Press, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

Original Article

Posted By:Attercliffe, 1/25/2013 8:21:24 AM

WASHINGTON--Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation. The Affordable Care Act allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1. For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums. Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed

Comments:
Oh, what a slippery slope! First--I thought taxes on cigarettes went, if only partly, to paying for any damage smokers are said to cause to themselves. Will smokers then be treated as "victims" of drug abuse? After that it´s almost certain that those designated as "obese" will be the next group ordered to pay 50% more. Skiiers and others involved in "dangerous" sports to follow. Those who own motor bikes? Those who eat "too much" meat? The mind well and truly boggles.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: lifelonghuman, 1/25/2013 8:33:16 AM     (No. 9138209)

This will certainly open up penalties on other lifestyles. My own company is easing into premiums based on BMI. The funny thing is that I don´t believe actuaries omit these people when they determine premium rates. Insurance companies are the winners.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: angelesgift, 1/25/2013 8:42:30 AM     (No. 9138232)

While I loath smoking, and agree with the meme that "80% of health problems are caused by overeating and under exercising", I agree that this is a VERY slippery slope.

We all know a universal health care law was the Holy Grail for liberals. They don´t really care about health. These freaks only care about using it to control other people - and it is already thoroughly underway.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 1/25/2013 8:56:15 AM     (No. 9138271)

So we´ll have millions of people who will be required to buy health insurance, but the cost will be prohibitive. How many low-income Obamabots thought they would be getting ´´free health care´´?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: LudicrousSextus, 1/25/2013 8:57:55 AM     (No. 9138275)

Wait for it...

A story out of Oregon earlier this week suggested the state is considering making tobacco ´prescription only´.

That´d be a real hoot. On top of your ´augmented´ premiums - wait for $40 per pack taxes to kick in - for a $55 a pack total - then of course some sort of government ´assistance´ to help the ´indigent´ afford smokes.

Humorously, no mention of the health premium that *gays* would be forced to pay for *their* lifestyle choices...or as #1 points out - the rest of the ´unhealthy slobs´ in society. No telling if ´bias discrimination´ will be covered under new mental health treatment regs...

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Reply 5 - Posted by: provide, 1/25/2013 9:13:36 AM     (No. 9138313)

Many of our new Asian immigrants love smoking. Is this racist?

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Reply 6 - Posted by: pomom, 1/25/2013 9:15:03 AM     (No. 9138320)

Will non-smokers get a discount? I didn´t think so. Will this apply to new policy applications or will they be searching your home for evidence of tobacco.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/25/2013 9:29:34 AM     (No. 9138352)

From the article:

Insurers won´t be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats — but they can charge more if a person smokes.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: WAN2, 1/25/2013 9:33:30 AM     (No. 9138365)

But smokers die young--thereby saving the rest of us for the years of their demise. Their premiums should be LOWER. Smoking should be ENCOURAGED for the good of non-smokers. Ditto people who live on ice cream.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: judy, 1/25/2013 9:38:50 AM     (No. 9138381)

Is this just for cigarette smokers ...will the liberal marijuana smokers be included????

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Coy860, 1/25/2013 9:44:21 AM     (No. 9138394)

What about gays with AIDS? Alcoholics?
Drug addicts?
Chronic speeders?

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Reply 11 - Posted by: tsquare, 1/25/2013 9:54:48 AM     (No. 9138420)

This is a foray into risk-based premiums. Much of my insurance premiums over the trajectory of my life has been risk-based. Of course, there are other, and perhaps more substantial risks. The risk of age, for example: OCARE charges the young and hale a lot of excess premium to pay for the older and sicker. My current life policy also rated drinking, risky life-style choices, presence of certain diseases ... all of these factor into proper premium charges.

The best comment made here was great - so you thought OCARE would be free?

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Reply 12 - Posted by: lakerman1, 1/25/2013 9:54:50 AM     (No. 9138421)

How will this be enforced? Wiith underover smoking police?
I think smoking is really disgusting, and like most ex smokers, I hate the smell of it. But how can an employer, or the government, enforce that rule on premium?
If someone is smoking an e cigarette, are they exempt from the rule?

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Reply 13 - Posted by: olcap, 1/25/2013 10:34:51 AM     (No. 9138526)

Those who are so indignant at this, should realize that this is all good for private industry, the insurance industry. Look at the way this is all set up - it´s totally insurance methodology, the same as if you were talking about your house or your car. Except this is talking about you.

Sure, they made the pre-existing conditions thing part of the whole political deal that just had to be in there. So yeah, the insurance industry loses out on that one tiny miniscule piece of their business, but they´ve been given the keys to this whole thing. The government´s not going to run the health care system; the insurance industry is going to run the healthcare system.

And God help us all.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: tedward, 1/25/2013 10:35:00 AM     (No. 9138527)

Nancy said ~ just vote for the bill & read it later ! ha ha ! Now I´ll bet most of the big smokers are Dem´s and the S--- just hit the fan.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: Sandbar, 1/25/2013 10:40:53 AM     (No. 9138543)

Have guns in your home? Pay at this window, please.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: rockymtnhigh, 1/25/2013 11:45:29 AM     (No. 9138728)

If marijuana and now, maybe smoking, will be prescription only, will insurance companies be required to add them to their covered medications and they can be obtained through insurance?

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Marzon, 1/25/2013 12:30:48 PM     (No. 9138849)

This is why Zippy´ EO directed the CDC to study gun ownership as if it were a disease. It´s a foregone conclusion that thier "studies" will show increased risk of injury if you live in a home with a gun. Then presto they´ll make owning guns unaffordable by hiking your premiums through the roof.

Its a health control law, not a health care law

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Reply 18 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/26/2013 1:19:50 AM     (No. 9139934)

How dumb is it to legalize pot, but punish those that smoke tobacco ? What does it say about those making the rules ?

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