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Old 07-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
CliffMongoloid
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So i get to work around 7 every morning, most come in around 8-9am. I arrive and i start to hear chit chat like its a Friday afternoon. I don't think anything if it and just think its cause of it being a 3 day work week. Then i receive am email stating to go to the cafe at 9am for a company meeting

At the meeting they begin to tell all employees that if you continue to smoke or use tobacco after the 5th of July (5 days from today) you will be charged $150 more a month for your health insurance, and the room erupted in anger! this does not effect me since i do not use tobacco products. I understand the tobacco users anger since they were only given a week to quit without getting charged.

Do you think this is fair? Can they really do this?

Their reasoning was health insurance costs more for a smoker cause they are generally in worse health. But their premiums will not be raised so i don't understand where the $150 is going.

Now if all smokers quit in the company will my insurance go down? Prolly not

Just curious on what you think.... Should be am interesting day.... Peeps are crushings cigs outside today.... Smoke em if ya got em!
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
LLBeanJ
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I'm sure there is going to be a lot more of this sort of thing as health care costs continue to go up. Not necessarily a bad thing, as I believe people need to take personal responsibility for their lives. No reason why the rest of us need to subsidize those who make poor health choices. However, does seem like a slippery slope, though. I can see being charged more for health insurance premiums for tobacco use, being severely overweight, and similar sorts of things, but how long before lifestyle choices start coming into play? Like to rock climb or skydive? Well, those are dangerous hobbies, so you can pay more. Obviously, no easy answers. Welcome to the future.

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #3

I've heard of this happening with tobacco products, but not with the other issues yet. My employer does not charge smokers a surcharge, as far as I know (I'm a non-smoker). If they charged for weight, I might find the motivation useful



A moderator-word-of-warning: This thread could easily descend into debate about health care reform, etc. If it does, it will need to be moved to the debate forum. As long as you stick to the OP's question/topic (does your company charge smokers more for insurance?), without debate, vitriol, or politics, then it can stay here.

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
Billy-Klubb
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ours does not, yet that I know of. but the steel yard I worked in would not hire smokers. if you started smoking after probation period, then they couldn't do anything about it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Ours gives a credit to not smoke. So they jack it up up front for every body, then give you credit. Its the same thing, but probably a better way to avoid grumblings.

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
Melana
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Wow that really sucks! Class action lawsuit?

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
brewkinger
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I work in the healthcare industry and this has been coming down the pipe for 2 yrs now for us.

Many employers are going to be doing this in an effort to decrease overall costs.

Each year, we have until June 30th to complete 4 basic "Wellness Incentives"
1) Have a annual visit with our primary care physician.
2) Complete an online wellness survey
3) Attest to be smoke-free OR complete a smoking cessation program

If you do not complete them, your insurance premiums go up $54.

The smokers at our facility (I quit 5 yrs ago when they paid us $500) to do so) have 2 options:
1) Quit
2) Complete the cessation program and then continue to smoke (at least they tried).

It is not unheard of and I think that you will see it happening a lot more.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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Next they will be cracking down on drinking! And deciding how much is "moderate" drinking...

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
BinghamtonEd
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I used to get health insurance through my company (on my wife's now), and there was a questionnaire when you signed up/renewed, and on there was tobacco use. If you used tobacco, you got a higher premium. Never bothered me, since I don't use tobacco products. Our company also does wellness incentives, you would fill out a survey, or get a physical, or something along those lines, and then in a month or two you'd get a check for anywhere from 10-50 bucks. Free money. And if you did it on the company's dime, even better

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:10 PM   #10
brewkinger
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An interesting occurrence that happened at my hospital last Xmas was more smoker specific.
Each Xmas, the medical staff gives every employee a lottery ticket that has a label affixed to the back with a 4 digit #.
They have a daily drawing for 1 week:
(10) $25 winners on Monday
(5) $50 winners on Tuesday
(5) $75 winners
(2) $100 winners
(1) $250 winner

This past year they included a "small" qualification that in order to pick up your prize, you had to show proof of being a non-smoker.
You wanna talk about grumblings? The issue was brought up to Dept. of Labor by a couple of disgruntled employees and the decision was that since the Dr's were sponsoring the drawing (instead of the hospital) then they could do whatever they wanted!
Good news...? I am a non-smoker and one of the re-drawings benefitted me when I won $100
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