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AsteroidX

"Not Just Another Tax"

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http://news.yahoo.com/penalty-could-keep-smokers-health-overhaul-205840155.html

OK wow so people that have smoked for years before Obumma was a thought on his mothers tit will be taxed for having smoked long before Obumma care was even an idea. Yeah smoking is bad for me so is this government.

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This isn't a tax, it's insurance rating--it's where your (private) insurance company looks at your individual risk factors and sets your premiums accordingly.

In general, starting next year they can't do that anymore at an individual level. Things like gender and medical history aren't going to determine your premium. But they're still allowed, within limits, to vary premiums for a handful of individual characteristics: geography, family size, age, and tobacco use. So they're still allowed--as they are now--to charge you more than others if you're a smoker (up to 50% more).

Edited by Startraveler
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Thanks for the info. If an insurance company can't charge more based on, say, sex, what prevents them from finding subtle ways of discouraging women (who because of pregnancy risk tend to get charged more) from staying.

It's obvious one can make it illegal, but there would be all sorts of subtle ways (such as long waits in waiting room while others are taken in sooner) to discriminate.

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when i renewed my med. coverege, there was a tabacco panalties added by default. it would kick in if i didn't look good enough at the aplications, and didn't uncheck the box. for me it would be about $50 a month more. i would have missed that, if my boss didn't tell me it was there and where it was.

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Thanks for the info. If an insurance company can't charge more based on, say, sex, what prevents them from finding subtle ways of discouraging women (who because of pregnancy risk tend to get charged more) from staying.

It's obvious one can make it illegal, but there would be all sorts of subtle ways (such as long waits in waiting room while others are taken in sooner) to discriminate.

There's going to risk adjustment between health insurance plans, meaning those plans that get healthier than average risk pools are going to pay an assessment, and those that get sicker than average risk pools are going to receive a payment.

That way insurers don't get penalized for happening to get sicker folks on average through luck of the draw (since they can't turn people away anymore), nor do they have a strong incentive to find those subtle ways you're describing to steer away some folks to try and get a lower than average risk pool.

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