TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pennsylvanians sound off on Obamacare: Penalty won't be enough to make smokers kick habit

Sterling Carlisle

Related Stories
Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

For health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Sterling Carlisle and thousands of other smokers will have to pay an annual penalty of hundreds of dollars.

Yet Carlisle doesn't think that will be enough to deter many people who are addicted to cigarettes. Pack-a-day smokers in Pennsylvania pay more than $2,400 a year toward their habit.

The law will keep smokers from paying higher insurance premiums as a result of pre-existing conditions.

“It sounds fair,” said Carlisle, 24, of Highland Park. He pays about $200 a month for individual health insurance, provided through his employer, and would want to see whether online, government-run insurance exchanges offer a better price.

Exact rates through the exchanges will hinge on a participant's age, location and income, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services won't release those prices until Tuesday.

Government figures show smokers' premiums could run as much as 50 percent higher than regular individual rates. The difference could amount to an effective smoking penalty of $1,500 or more each year.

— Adam Smeltz

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Beloved teacher at 3 Western Pa. schools hears from students across nation
  2. Oakland eatery Fuel & Fuddle to reopen under new owners
  3. Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
  4. Duquesne teen to stand trial on charges he shot, killed unborn child
  5. 2 sentenced for avoiding arrest after Steelers player was stabbed
  6. Victim identified in Pleasant Hills apartment fire
  7. 30 cited for blocking street at union rally at UPMC facility
  8. Feds admit cooperation remains obstacle with corporations, cyber threats
  9. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Bucar upset with DA Zappala for alert
  10. Newsmaker: Brian Stein
  11. Private parking lots slow to follow Pittsburgh’s increase in rates
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.