Smokers Favored by Obamacare Due to Glitch in System

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Smokers are one of the two groups that can be charged more for Obamacare due to future health risks — the elderly are the other category. Even though smokers are supposed to be charged up to a 50 percent penalty under Obamacare, it is not quite panning out that way.

The problem is due to what has been called a “system limitation” at the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS, which means insurers cannot apply the surcharge to smokers for at least a year.

Under the Affordable Care Act Section 1201, insurance plans that are sold to individuals or small companies are only allowed to alter their premiums by old age or tobacco use. The insurance company can charge three times as much for the elderly and 1.5 times as much for those who smoke.