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 — “Obamacare” to its detractors — 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.
…the law [also] allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.
Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.
And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers… Keep Reading
Via Doug Ross