Health insurance premiums 14 percent higher for smokers

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Health Insurance for SmokersA report has also shown that obese adults are paying 22 percent more for their medical coverage.

The results of an eHealth, Inc., study have been released in a report that functions as an addendum to the one that it issued two months ago, called “November 2012 Cost and Benefits”, and has shown that smokers and obese individuals are paying higher monthly health insurance premiums than their non-smoking and lower BMI counterparts.

On average, these individuals are shelling out a significantly larger amount due to their increased risk factors.

According to Gary Lauer, the CEO of the company that conducted the study, “This is valuable data for consumers and advocacy groups working on important health issues related to smoking and overall fitness.” Lauer also pointed out that this is the second consecutive year in which “we’ve been able to put a dollar figure on what smoking and an unhealthy BMI may cost Americans in terms of higher health insurance premiums in the individual market.”

The study and report identified a number of the details regarding the impact of these risks on health insurance premiums.

The part of the report that was focused on Smoking Status showed that:


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• When compared to non-smokers, who pay an average monthly premium of $187, smokers pay 14 percent more, with an average health insurance premium of $213.14 per month.
• When compared to non-smoking women, who pay an average monthly premium of $203, female smokers pay 22 percent more at $247.
• Health insurance policyholders whose BMI registers them as obese pay an average monthly premium of $207, which is 22 percent higher than the $169 paid by those in the “normal” weight category.
• Obese men pay an average monthly premium of $190, which is 29 percent greater than men in the normal weight range, who pay $147.
• Underweight men pay an average monthly premium of $160, which is only 9 percent higher than their normal weight counterparts ($147).

The data that was used in order to create this health insurance premiums report was based on the individual major medical policies of over 224,000 people.

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