In today’s world, insurers can simply turn down a smoker. Under Obama’s overhaul, would they actually charge the full 50 percent? After all, workplace anti-smoking programs that use penalties usually charge far less, maybe $75 or $100 a month.
Robert Laszewski, a consultant who previously worked in the insurance industry, says there’s a good reason to charge the maximum.
‘‘If you don’t charge the 50 percent, your competitor is going to do it, and you are going to get a disproportionate share of the less-healthy older smokers,’’ said Laszewski. ‘‘They are going to have to play defense.’’
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