Smokers to Pay Higher Insurance Premiums

A law that allows insurance companies to charge higher premiums from smokers is already in existence. But nicotine screening tests weren’t mandatory. But now the law will allow health insurance companies to jack the premiums on individual policyholders who smoke by up to 50 percent beginning next January.

smokerAccording to sources, a 55-year-old smoker could be looking at a premium hike of $4,250 per year, while the smoker’s penalty for a 60-year-old could approach $5,100.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke causes 443,000 premature deaths and costs the nation $193 billion in health bills and lost productivity every year. Younger smokers won’t be hit as hard as older smokers by the coming insurance rate hikes under rules proposed last fall by President Barack Obama’s administration.

However, the federal law does permit states to limit or change the smoking penalty as they see fit. It’s easier to find a smoking cessation program these days through your insurer or employer and it won’t cost a dime. Thanks to the widespread expansion of preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act, this is now available almost free.

If the insured or a new customer provides incorrect information to the insurance company it may prove to be risky and ineffective. While insurance companies ask potential customers whether they smoke, they can even ask for a physical examination. They may even request for a recent medical history.

It may be easy to lie on paper; however, it is very difficult to cover up the traces of nicotine in the test. So, smoking is going to be more expensive from next year, maybe it’s time to give up the weed.

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