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Old 04-28-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
33,949 posts, read 32,392,016 times
Reputation: 49901

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I'm all in favor of people not smoking BUT is this government flexing its muscle where irt doesn't belong. The Tennessee State government is going to charge state workers $600 per year after December 31 if they OR THEIR SPOUSE smokes.

Tennessee state employees will have to pay to smoke in 2010 : Mid-South : Memphis Commercial Appeal
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 18,708,212 times
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Ummmm Can anyone say "Discrimination"?
Next it will be if you are over weight, or drive an SUV, or what ever else the government decides is bad for someone. What happened to USA, land of the free? (meaning free choice)
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Niota, TN
851 posts, read 2,080,791 times
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Maybe, it has something to do with insurance cost? I believe that insurance is higher for smokers. The State probably pays for the employees insurance. Sorry I just read the article. I know where I work (municipality) the smokers are always on a smoke break. And the non-smokers are working and having to cover for them. At the end of the day the employer gets more work time out of the non-smoker.

Last edited by FLORIDA TO NIOTA 2010; 04-28-2009 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:38 PM
 
14,938 posts, read 26,645,784 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLORIDA TO NIOTA 2010 View Post
Maybe, it has something to do with insurance cost? I believe that insurance is higher for smokers. The State probably pays for the employees insurance.
You are correct. This is tied directly to insurance costs.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,786,111 times
Reputation: 2764
While I realize that, as a smoker part of me is going WHAT!?

But insurance premiums for smokers are higher, if you're coverable at all. Still...
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 18,708,212 times
Reputation: 2750
And being over weight isn't a health risk? How about if you eat more than 2 McDonald's burgers a week? Or have received more that 3 speeding tickets in a years time? You could get in a bad wreck and cause them a lot of money. How about if your hobby is to sky dive?
Don't get me wrong here, not advocating smoking, just kind of ticked at the discrimination here and where it could lead. If they start saying in a group policy (which are not supposed to be based on medical condition and the only way some people can even get insurance coverage) that you can not have a condition or habit or hobby that they feel might cost them money, more and more and more and more people are going to loose the ability to get medical insurance. Period.

Last edited by mbmouse; 04-28-2009 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 13,786,111 times
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Whoa, exactly what I was feeling but couldn't put into words. Thanks, mb.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:22 PM
 
14,938 posts, read 26,645,784 times
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I am not trying to argue; just pointing out what the insurance companies are saying to the subscribers. I think that this is a kind of don't hate the player hate the game kind of thing. At Wellmont they give insurance premium discounts for being in the target weight, non smoker, BP in range, etc. I think it will get to where all "non healthy" things are charged premiums.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Beautiful East TN!!
7,281 posts, read 18,708,212 times
Reputation: 2750
Oh, well if they are giving discounts on the premium maybe I can see not giving discounts for the smokers. But I still think it is a kind of discrimination.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,487 posts, read 13,349,016 times
Reputation: 19916
I think SMG is onto something.
Our company started charging higher insurance premiums last year for smokers/family members too. They gave employees discounts on rx and smoking cessation programs before they implemented the rate hikes.
I've heard rumors that they are considering the 'healthy weight' thing too, sometime in the next few years.
As an incentive I think the rate hike worked pretty well, we had quite a few employees inspired to quit smoking. Getting their Chantix for some ridiculous low price might have helped some too.
I hope they do the same kind of deal for us 'chubbies' if they actually raise the premiums for that too. Could be a blessing in disguise in my case.
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