Not a smoker, but for any of you that are, you had better start the process of quitting now. You are going to get penalized heavily in 2014 by the new health care law.
The law allows for what looks like age discrimination as insurance companies will be allowed to charge more for older smokers than younger ones. Also, those that do not belong to a company sponsored insurance plan, might not have the benefit of taking a cessation program.
The Affordable Care Act — "Obamacare" to its detractors — allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next Jan. 1.
For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.
Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration. But older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.