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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Artist born without arms, legs gives Hampton students peek into her world
  2. Police: Suspect in 1970 cold case homicide of 17-year-old dies days before charges filed
  3. North Side roadwork detailed
  4. North Hills Girl Scout volunteer sentenced for stealing from camp fund
  5. Owner of Strip District nightclub Ivy agrees to close after shooting
  6. Fired Plum officer won’t get job back
  7. Wolf’s education proposal gets mixed reviews
  8. Lawrenceville man charged with rape, child pornography and 27 other sexual offenses
  9. 10th DUI earns Uptown man 1st prison sentence
  10. Pittsburgh’s Downtown tops ranking of small to midsized cities
  11. Passion for speed fuels Ligonier man’s slippery dash in winter rally