While we at Lehrman Group do not condone smoking — the health problems associated with smoking are well-known — we find the penalty that smokers enrolling for a 2014 health insurance plan to be discriminatory and extremely unfair.
If you need a heart transplant or cancer surgery and you enroll for a 2014 plan (also called an ObamaCare plan), you will pay the exact same monthly premium that a perfectly healthy person of your age and location will pay. Perhaps you are diabetic and are unfortunately facing an amputation in the near future – you will pay the exact same premium that a perfectly healthy person of your age and location will pay.
The only people that will pay more than the normally high ObamaCare plan rates are those people who smoke. At one Arizona health insurance company the smoker’s penalty is over 20%. If the normal monthly premium amount for a non-smoker is $400, a smoker will pay over $500 for the exact same plan with that insurer. The non-smoking person with cancer, or diabetes, or needing a heart transplant will pay the original $400. This simply is not fair or equitable and makes no sense.
Some Arizona health insurance companies charge less than 20% additional to smokers, and we know of at least one health insurance carrier here in Arizona that charges no premium penalty to smokers. Of course, just because a health insurance company won’t charge you an additional premium because you smoke does not mean that their plan would be your best choice. It might be your best choice as far as your monthly premium amount is concerned, but lowest cost definitely does not mean best policy choice.
If you are a smoker (or not) living in Arizona and you’re looking for a 2014 plan, call us at (800) 600-9663. We’ll show you the best options available to you and help you make the right choice in choosing a new 2014 plan. Keep in mind that the lowest priced health insurance plan may definitely not be the best choice for you and your circumstances. We’ll help you decide if the lowest cost plan is your smartest choice.