Obamacare: Smokers To Get Reprieve Under Glitch

    July 9, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

An error in the computer system may be of temporary relief to smokers who would ordinarily have to pay high premiums under Obamacare, the administration says.

According to the Obamacare plan, insurance companies will be allowed to charge smokers up to 50% more on premiums than non-smokers. But a technical problem has arisen that will change that.

According to the Health and Human Services Department, “Because of a system limitation … the system currently cannot process a premium for a 65-year-old smoker that is … more than three times the premium of a 21-year-old smoker,” the industry guidance said. If an insurer tries to charge more, “the submission of the (insurer) will be rejected by the system.”

Though the error may prove helpful to some now, many are frustrated with yet another setback in the plan, which has already seen several postponements.

“This was an administration that was telling us everything was under control,” health care industry consultant Robert Laszewski told CBS News. “Everything was going to be fine. Suddenly this kind of stuff is cropping up every few days.”

The glitch could take up to a year to repair; before, insurance companies were going to be able to charge lower penalties for younger smokers and go higher with the age groups, but now the options are less than desirable for everyone. The administration is suggesting a full, fixed penalty for every smoker no matter what their age, but that would mean a higher cost for those at the younger end of the spectrum and no change for older smokers.

  • Abe Lincoln


  • http://www.examiner.com/article/obamacare-smokers-penalty-limited-due-to-computer-glitch Peter Trapasso

    My take on this here: “Obamacare: Smokers penalty limited due to computer glitch” http://www.examiner.com/article/obamacare-smokers-penalty-limited-due-to-computer-glitch

  • Alex Delarge

    Those increased premiums should be paid from the giant tobacco settlement. Oh, wait, that money is gone, along with the budget surplus of 2000 to give the richest the lowest tax rate in history.

  • Deela

    I don’t smoke, but this kind of obtrusive government crap that’s trying to run my life and tell me what I should or should not do, or penalize me for doing what I choose to do, makes me want to go out and buy a frickn’ pack of cigarettes and start smoking! I don’t like ANYONE telling me what to do or not do, or penalizing me for MY choices. It’s nobody else’s business!

    • Tori

      Deela, it’s not about telling you what you can and cannot do. Smoke if you wish, but MY premiums shouldn’t have to be higher because YOU smoke so therefore you SHOULD pay more. I notice this article failed to address the obese, which also drive up healthcare costs. Why should I pay more because people want to smoke, and people want to be fat?

      • Chip

        Deela, does that mean if your body mass index is too high that you should pay more? Do you drink? What’s your driving record like? How about illnesses that run in your family? Are you into extreme sports or have a dangerous job? All of these things raise someone’s chance of illness and/or injury – the list could go on and on. Smokers seem to always catch the brunt of it all though.

      • sebben

        We all need to be treated equally.
        i drink, i smoke, i cross the street in the middle of the block, i’m poor, Im disabled, im a criminal, i ve used every drug known to mankind, taken candy from babies, and im a racist, and sexist, i have unprotected whatever with whomever, and i trade in poached ivory. and ive got medical insurance. and you people have been paying your high premiums because of me.
        But you see, i was also lied to. When I left the safety of my neighborhood to serve my country, I really believed we were fighting for something worth fighting for, and I couldnt have been more wrong. It’s all a sham. And everything I believed was bull. It was all for control and money, often under the guise of religion.
        The whole thing, whether military, medical, religious, etc is designed to tell you one thing, and do something else. They pat you on the head with one hand, the other hand is in your pocket…or, in the case of the military (and the church, of course) down your pants.
        You pay for me, I put my life on the line for you, I think we’re even. And Im damaged. You probably arent.
        We all need to be treated equally.
        CAUTION: Dramatization. May not have happened.

    • john

      I hear you Deela! We are grown people and this is supposed to be the land of the free. Freedom of choice, religion,to pursue happiness,I do not like someone messing my freedoms.

  • john

    The Obamacare system unfair and sux

  • http://webpronews.com Justice

    Ya sure Obama. Charge the people on fixed incom, the poor and the helpless more for healthcare. After all, they worked their whole lives paying taxes, they are a burden to your agenda now.

  • B.P>

    Your income is not to fixed if you can buy cigs and beer…..Charge them….I hate being around smokers and the smoke…make them pay.

  • Chip

    Only smokers? What about the obese? Isn’t being overweight and sedentary the biggest killers of them all?

  • Brian

    I’m sure they think that we are stupid enough to not see that this “glitch” which will take a year to fix, is really just designed to allow more people will be able to afford to sign up, allowing the Dems to trumpet how many people have healthcare now.

  • sebben

    if you tell an insurance company that you smoke, you re a fool.
    Tell them you dont. Let them prove otherwise.

  • http://yahoo Diane F.

    It’s funny how the government is trying to control how we eat to make us healthier, but they are all for selling cigarettes because they get money from it. Hipocrites.

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