Friday, January 25, 2013

A very expensive butt

No, not that kind; this kind:

"Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in [The ObamaTax] ... allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums"

This is hysterically funny.

First, since health insurance plans will be guaranteed issue, pre-existing conditions covered almost immediately, and insurers are essentially prohibited from cancelling for anything short of failing to pay the premium, what possible penalty could there be for lying on the enrollment form?

[Since plans are guaranteed issue, they're not applications]

But wait, it gets better:

"[G]overnment tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers."

So again, why would anyone disclose tobacco use?

But wait, it gets even better:

"For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year."

That's in addition to the underlying premium, which is already inflated due to - you guessed it - guaranteed issue and community rating requirements. A very realistic annual premium, then, would be north of $10,000. But the penalty tax for going bare is a fraction of that. So again, why would this poor smoker even bother to purchase insurance until the very last minute?

The mind boggles.
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