What’s the smoking penalty under obamacare?
Obamacare authorizes surcharges for tobacco usage that provide for additional costs for smokers and operate as an incentive not to smoke. Comparison shopping is an excellent way to find health plans that meet the needs of smokers and families with smokers. Shopping on and off marketplace is the best way to find the entire range of plans for a given locality. Start comparing health insurance plans now by using our FREE tool above!
The permissible factors that affect the price of a qualified health plan for subscribers are described below.
- Plan type
- marital or family status
- geographic location
- tobacco usage
The Impact of Tobacco Usage
Tobacco kills nearly 400,000 Americans per year and causes nearly $200 billion in healthcare costs and loss of productivity. It is a leading cause of preventable death and illness. There are additional costs including nearly $300 billion per year spent on quitting, and tobacco use is a driver of unsustainable increases in health costs in the US. The national goal of reducing and eliminating tobacco usage will demonstrably raise the levels of health and reduce the drain on national health care resources.
Improving Health in America
Smoking contributes to a wide range of diseases and illnesses. Some conditions like arthritis come from effects on bone and blood. Others such as adult onset diabetes are linked by the amount of smoking and duration. The damage done directly to lungs and heart cause severe and irreparable damage and significantly shorten lives and reduce the quality of life. With such widespread and devastating effects, the reduction and elimination of smoking would transform the state of health and wellness in the US. A significant effort in Obamacare aims to prevent health risks from smoking.
Obamacare provides incentives for smokers to reduce and quit smoking. It requires higher premiums for smokers and it offers lower premiums for non-smokers, including those that successfully complete smoking cessation and qualify as non-smokers.
Knowing that smoking has a cost does not deter every smoker, after all the price of tobacco products can run into the thousands of dollars per year.
Smokers spend large sums on products that claim to help smokers quit. Obamacare covers medications that aid in cessation. Obamacare only covers evidence-based smoking cessation products.
Tobacco Use Affects Overall Health
The ACA promotes health and wellness. Smoking damages human health and causes deterioration and disease in nearly every physical system. In all of its forms including cigars, pipes, water pipes and vapor devices, nicotine addiction exerts a powerful mental and physical grip on the users. Both as preventive services and smoking cessation, the ACA takes aim at tobacco usage and smoking. Wellness programs educate on the harmful results of tobacco and nicotine addiction. The offer programs to strengthen the body after quitting and to help build physical strength in the process of quitting.
Essential Mental Health Benefits
Obamacare provides mental health services for detection and treatment of those conditions in the same way as it treats physical diseases. Mental health services include substance abuse and addictions. Tobacco addictions may go with other addictions and require dual diagnosis and treatment. Alcohol and tobacco or smoking illegal drugs and tobacco may require simultaneous treatment to effect long-term abstinence. Obamacare makes Smoking cessation available at no charge through health plans and Medicaid.
Obamacare provides smoking cessation as an essential Health Benefit. There are no copays or additional charges for these services. Considered a free preventive service, Obamacare makes smoking cessation a priority. Therapies and treatments include the following examples.
- Phone therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling therapy
- Tobacco cessation brand name or generic medications
- Inhalers, lozenges, gums, and drugs
Mental Health Services
Some conditions require intense focus for effective treatment. Experts consider addictions in particular as examples of illness that require a customized approach based upon the individual’s life circumstances. Healthcare providers may offer a one size fits all approach. The Obamacare services can be an important lifeline for addiction, and this can include tobacco dependence if tied to other forms of drug addiction.
Finding the Best Value On or Off Marketplace
Private insurers can customize plans to meet individual needs and can emphasize services that one needs. Smoking cessation may be a primary goal for a particular subscriber. Truly, it is a factor that can affect health and wellness in profound ways. Obamacare plans provide no-cost coverage for mental health and smoking cessation programs. Insurers have many plans that are not sold on the exchanges, consumers should shop outside of the Marketplace. Comparison shopping is a key for finding the best value in Obamacare plans. Comparison shopping can focus on particular features that have greater consequences for the individual or family subscriber. Comparison shopping looks past the obvious items like price and premiums and adds the experience or expectation of the medical services that matter most. Start comparing health insurance plans now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!