ObamaCare’s Smoking Penalty
Many people might not be aware, but the ObamaCare not only penalizes those who did not purchase health insurance, it also penalizes smoking.
Under the Affordable Care Act, smokers may be facing a specific fine for their habit. Normally, this healthcare law blocks insurance companies from charging higher premiums to people for expensive health conditions. Because of this, cancer patients as well as diabetics are paying the same rate as the rates paid by the healthy people coming from their same age bracket. However, there is an exemption to this. The exemption applies to 19% of the adult American citizens who are smoking. This law allows insurance companies to charge such people premiums, which are 50% higher compared to the non-smokers.
On the other hand, not all insurance companies would apply this smoking fine penalty. The states, which do not apply a smoking fine, include New York, California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Now, on the states where the smoking tax penalty may be applied, insurance companies should not alienate members by giving them higher smoking premium. Many of these insurance companies forego the smoking surcharge or they are just sticking on smaller charges than the federal law actually allows.
Even if that is the case in some states, there are still about eight states, which are charging smokers the maximum percentage of 50% on top of their regular healthcare payment according to ValuePenguin (a comparison site for insurance). This was also analyzed by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. These eight states include Indiana, Idaho, Montana, Iowa, Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Texas.
These states, as well as the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare are applying these smoking fines in the hopes of smoking cessation to the smoking populace.
ObamaCare and Smoking Cessation Goal
Here are some other facts that you need to know about ObamaCare and Smoking as well as the penalty that goes with it.
- ObamaCare approves a 50% extra charge to smokers’ premiums in light of the smoking surcharge.
- There is a smokers’ glitch in the ObamaCare healthcare plans. What does this mean? This means that the smoking surcharge will not go into effect until the year 2015.
- According to statistics, Americans who have lower incomes would most likely lean to smoking.
- Under ObamaCare, smoking is not considered as a pre-existing medical condition. Instead, tobacco users are considered as high risk patients for insurance companies. They use more health insurance services and medical aids as compared to non-tobacco users. Asking for a smoking premium is a legal and the best way to encourage smoking cessation.
These may seem really harsh, especially to smokers who resort to smoking for their stresses. But, if you really look at the main goal of smoking cessation for tobacco users, you will see that this will be for their own good as well as their family and other people, too. Smoking can slash of years from you. It can make your health worse in just a matter of years. So, this smoking penalty is implemented to the American citizens with better health in mind.
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