When it comes to health insurance rates for smokers, companies can factor in tobacco use in order to increase premiums.
“Tobacco use” is the use of any tobacco product on average four or more times per week within the past six months.
The term smoking, however, can extend to other types of products, including cigars, chewing tobacco and nicotine patches or gum. If you use any of those tobacco products, expect companies to charge you more for health insurance than they would if you didn’t use those products.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance premiums are based on plan category, the number of individuals on the policy, age, location, and tobacco use. The ACA allows for insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than non-smokers through a tobacco surcharge.
Although not all states implement this charge, Illinois does charge approximately 25-28% more at this time, but is allowed to charge up to a 50% surcharge for your individual health insurance.
If you are a tobacco user and in the market for health insurance, talk to an agent at TW Group, Inc. and they will be able to discuss your options and help you get the best insurance rates possible.
When you apply for health insurance, you are required to report whether or not you are a smoker. Misrepresentation of your smoking habits is considered insurance fraud and you could jeopardize the payment of any future claims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The good news is that tobacco use is on the decline.
Smoking has been closely linked to lung cancer, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, emphysema and other respiratory illnesses and complications.
With the cost of higher health insurance premiums, combined with the rising cost of cigarettes – not to mention the direct healthcare costs along the way – smoking can be costing a person considerably more that they realize.
TW Group Inc., 850 N Cass Ave., Westmont IL 60559, 630-737-0300 www.twgroupinc.com