QUESTION

I smoke cigarettes and I buy my own health insurance. Can I be charged more because I smoke?

Individuals with no coverage | Comparing Plans: Benefits and Costs
ANSWER

Yes, in most states you can. Insurers are allowed to increase premiums by up to 50 percent more for people who use tobacco, although many insurers apply a lower surcharge for tobacco use. If you qualify for premium tax credits, this tobacco surcharge will not be covered by the tax credit. States are allowed to limit tobacco surcharges and a few have decided to prohibit tobacco rating by health insurers. (45 C.F.R. § 147.102).

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