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Smokers are Paying for it, Under the New Health care Law

By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email
By: Elizabeth Nickerson Email

According to the new health care legislature, people who smoke will be paying for it. The penalty for smokers is starting a debate with the obese.

"We know that smoking, obesity and heart disease are not only dangerous for individuals, as far as increasing the mortality, but they are very expensive for the health care system, " said Robert Weissert from Florida Tax Watch.

The new health care law being implemented on 2014, can allow health insurers to charge 50 percent higher premiums, then those who do not use tobacco.

However, health insurers can not charge more to the overweight.

According to the new law, it is age dependent and dependent on how the plan was purchased, for instance; If it was a group or an individual plan.

According to the Florida Tax Watch, the only way to reduce the sur charge is through the employer.

"Employers have the ability to implement smoking cessation programs, which would reduce the addition sure charge cost," said Weissert.

"We encourage employers to look at a comprehensive smoking cessation package with their benefits plan to include counseling, medication and exercise program to help keep the weight off when they quit because it can be very stressful for people when they are trying to quit," said Patty Ballantine, Regional Director from the American Lung Association.

According to the experts, the only solution is to get healthy.


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