Friday, August 22, 2008

More states penalizing state employees who smoke via higher insurance premiums

Eight states now charge public employees who smoke more each month for insurance coverage. South Carolina became the latest state to join this group; however Louisiana is not in this group.

Each South Carolina state employee who falls into that category will have to pay $25 a month extra for health insurance than nonsmokers.

The change was heavily promoted by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. He said that smoking should remain a choice for state workers but that nonsmokers should not have to bear the higher costs resulting from tobacco-related

State employees will be asked to sign a document saying they don't smoke, and so far, no penalties have been put in place for lying. But other states with similar policies levy fines on smokers who lie and order past surcharges paid, and South Carolina is likely to do the same.

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