Obamacare

Obamacare Targets Smokers With Higher Premiums

Not that they shouldn't pay more, but they're singled out because it's safe to do so

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WASHINGTON – Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Obama's health-care law, according to experts who are teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation.

The Affordable Care Act — or "Obamacare" — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.

For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

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