Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues…

Can I be charged higher premiums in the Marketplace if I smoke?

In most states, yes. Generally, an insurer can charge as much as 50% more for a person who uses tobacco products. For example, if the premium for somebody your age (before any tax credits are applied) would otherwise be $200 per month, if you are a tobacco user your premium could be increased to $300 per month. States can prohibit insurers from applying a tobacco surcharge or further limit the tobacco penalty and some have done so. (For example, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia prohibit tobacco rating for their Marketplace plans.] Also, some insurers who do charge more for tobacco users are charging the less than maximum amount they can under the law. Check with your state Marketplace to learn more about tobacco surcharges and how they work.

If you qualify for premium tax credits to reduce the cost of Marketplace coverage, this tax credit amount will be based on the premium before the tobacco surcharge is applied, which means that a smoker must pay the full cost of the surcharge.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/KaiserFamFound

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.