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Smokers May Face Higher Premiums Under Obamacare

ObamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it.
bamaCare may have backfired in its goal of making smoking so expensive that users quit, public health experts say, as sky-high insurance premiums force smokers to drop coverage altogether and lose smoking cessation programs along with it.

"Tobacco surcharges are not proven to help tobacco users quit and there are major concerns that they will prevent people from getting health care coverage," the American Lung Association's Jennifer Singleterry said.

The ALA supports the Affordable Care Act, as does the American Cancer Society, but both oppose the tobacco penalty because they believe it makes insurance unaffordable for smokers.

"Charging tobacco users more in health insurance premiums, sometimes thousands of dollars more, studies have shown, will price smokers out of the market," says Singleterry.

Unlike drug addicts, alcoholics, or the obese -- all of whom represent higher-than-average medical costs -- smokers are the only such group with a pre-existing condition that ObamaCare penalizes. It allows insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than non-smokers for an identical policy, depending on the state and any subsidies the person might qualify for.

For example, premiums for a 64-year-old non-smoker, according to the Kaiser Health Calculator, cost $9,000 a year for a standard "silver" insurance plan.

The same policy for a smoker could cost $13,600.

For the full story: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/25/obamacare-policies-slam-smokers-could-backfire/
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