Tags: Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | smoking | health insurance | obamacare | penalties

Smokers Dropping Obamacare Because of Penalties

Smokers Dropping Obamacare Because of Penalties

(Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 05:11 PM

The ability of health insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more in premiums under the Affordable Care Act has led some nicotine users to not only give up their coverage but smoke even more, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

"We found that medium and high tobacco surcharges dampened the increases in the smokers' insurance coverage," according to a study published in the journal, Health Affairs. "Smokers facing the highest surcharges exhibited a 12-percentage-point reduction in coverage relative to the group with no surcharge."

In addition, the report said: "Putting a price on bad behaviors can alleviate the guilt of engaging in them, which has an unexpected effect: the behaviors increase."

Marjorie Connolly, the press secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on study, the Affordable Care Act provides many benefits for smokers.

"The Affordable Care Act includes smoking cessation items and services, including medication, as a free preventive service for the Marketplace, many employer and other individual health plans," she said.

"And, because of the Affordable Care Act, you can no longer be denied coverage for being a smoker. These are important steps forward for the health of our country, as is the fact that 20 million people have gained health insurance because of the law."

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The ability of health insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more in premiums under the Affordable Care Act has led some nicotine users to not only give up their coverage but smoke even more, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
smoking, health insurance, obamacare, penalties
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2016-11-10
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 05:11 PM
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