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Wal-Mart Raises Health Premiums for Smokers

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Wal-Mart has announced it is significantly raising health insurance premiums for many employees who smoke. The New York Times reports smokers will have to pay an extra $260 to $2,340 a year if they want health insurance.

The move is part of larger changes by the company to decrease insurance coverage for part-time workers and significantly raise health insurance premiums for many full-time workers, according to the article.

Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, told the newspaper, “Tobacco users generally consume about 25 percent more health care services than nontobacco users.”  Wal-Mart notes that other major companies, including Home Depot, PepsiCo and Macy’s, also charge smokers more for their health insurance.

Hospitals have been at the forefront of the trend to link employees’ eligibility for lower-cost health plans to tobacco use.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Praise God
    Praise God / November 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Just stop that cancer stick and you have no worries.

  2. Avatar of Chad Dean
    Chad Dean / October 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    They need to do that for obese workers too. I know where I work over weight co-workers are out sick & going to the doctor a lot more than the smokers. I don’t smoke so it’s not sticking up for smokers..

  3. Avatar of Dani
    Dani / October 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I am a smoker, but I actually somewhat agree with raising the premiums on health insurance because smoking is entirely a conscious choice made by an individual. However, the same cannot be said for obesity. Also, there are some who have BMIs that will technically label them as obese or overweight, but they’re actually healthy. This is because the BMI is not a great measurement. How, then, would you suggest discriminating against those who are “obese”? Who gets higher premiums?

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