Skip to comments.Employers hit smokers in the wallet
Posted on 02/16/2006 4:58:38 PM PST by LouAvul
CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- Smokers squeezed by soaring cigarette costs and workplace smoking bans are increasingly being hit with another cost increase -- this time for health insurance.
A growing number of private and public employers are requiring employees who use tobacco to pay higher premiums, hoping that will motivate more of them to stop smoking and lower health care costs for the companies and their workers.
Meijer Inc., Gannett Co., American Financial Group Inc., PepsiCo Inc. and Northwest Airlines are among the companies already charging or planning to charge smokers higher premiums. The amounts range from about $20 to $50 a month.
"With health care costs increasing by double digits in the last few years, employers are desperate to rein in costs to themselves and their employees," said Linda Cushman, senior health care strategist with Hewitt Associates, a human resources consulting and services firm.
She said the practice of smoker surcharges is becoming such a significant trend that this year, it will be part of Hewitt's annual survey of companies' current and future health care plans.
Cushman said a general benefits survey of 950 U.S.-based employers last year showed that at least 41 percent used some form of financial incentives or penalties in their health care plans.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
But I've quit, since!!
I reported you anyway!
If smoking makes health care more costly then health care cost should be at their lowest historical rates since the 50's, since smoking has decreased per capita since then.
If you smoke,weigh 400 pounds or have uncontrolled hypertension then your premiums should be higher.
Wait a minute...I thought the idea was for Government to be out of the smoker's businesses and let the businesses decide on there own...Like letting the bar owner's decide if they will allow smoking...This seems like a private business making their own decisions...Applaud!
ooops... there = their!
grammar folks, you know...
I complained about ADA being forced on private businesses...no help from smokers/drinkers/lardasses....
I may be all wet, but I think genetics are the chief factor in longevity. If both of your parents died young, your chances are that you might too. I think the inverse tends to hold true also.
Thats just it its already figured in
Insurers know what policies theyve sold, who theyve sold them to, and what they paid out in claims. Its on the books and in the bag, no guesswork required.
They know what the generic company looks like. They know what its generic makeup is and what percentage smoke whether they admit it or not.
That, in part, determines what premium they are willing to offer your employer. Figured up, averaged out, and packaged into a nice, neat little group rate.
If you want to start tagging people that are using more services than they are paying for youd start with sexually active females of childbearing age. Then youd extend that to all females, in general.
I'd like to point out that it has been a few years since I have been involved with rate determination, so maybe they've completely changed things since then.
Give it a break, Lou. You've already established your I-hate-private-property credentials. Tell us how much you love Napoleonic law. And go ahead and tell us about the uplifting freedom of democracy rules.
Fatties, you're next!
I know that...but they should,just as they do with car insurance and life insurance.
If you have a health problem that's within your power to fix (smoking,overweight,etc) and you don't fix it,then it should cost you $$$ and the extra cash the insurance company gets should be passed along to those with a healthier lifestyle as lower premiums.
That is what is going to happen with smokers in their health care relationships with doctors, too. The smokers will lie about smoking if it is going to harm them economically and socailly. "Do you smoke, Mr. Jones? I used to but I quit, Dr. Nosebud!"
This concept could be extended to AIDS.....
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