Insurance plan penalizes smokers, obese

October 23, 2006

The director of a U.S. anti-smoking organization says smokers and obese people should pay substantially more for health insurance than others.

John Banzhaf, director of the Washington organization Action on Smoking and Health said he's urging state governors to adopt his plan in reforming their Medicaid programs.

Under the plan, obese people would pay a 10-percent increased health insurance premium, with smokers generally paying an even higher percentage. Those who are obese and smoke would pay nearly 30 percent more to obtain health insurance.

"While a growing number of health insurance companies are now charging smokers higher premiums, and a few state governments have started charging employees who smoke more for health coverage, this may be the first situation in which the concept is applied to Medicaid," Banzhaf said in a release.

While noting increasing the premium penalty beyond a certain point might cause some to do without insurance, Banzhaf said correspondingly lower rates for non-smokers would probably help many of them obtain coverage that was previously financially out of bounds.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

Related Stories

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Chinese turn to U.S. doctors for second opinions

January 31, 2018
The doctor told Renee Gao's parents that the tumor in their teenager's chest wasn't disappearing. The girl would need a costly operation that could leave her sterile—if she survived.

Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul

January 24, 2013
(AP)—Here's a possible new cost for people with the cigarette habit.

Another cost of smoking—sky-high insurance

September 12, 2016
Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated some of the barriers to obtaining health insurance coverage, not all Americans have access to affordable coverage. Low-income smokers in particular face challenges when shopping ...

Obese workers' health care costs top those of smokers

April 13, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Obese workers have even higher health costs than smokers, a new study finds.

Medical marijuana goes on sale in Czech pharmacies

April 2, 2013
Medical marijuana legally went on sale Tuesday in pharmacies across the Czech Republic for patients suffering from cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or psoriasis.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.