Variation in the tobacco surcharge under the Affordable Care Act and its potential implications

Bhumit Shah, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Under the Affordable Care Act Insurers are able to charge up to 50% more on the premiums of tobacco users versus non-users. However, insurers do not have to charge 50% more, since that is a maximum limit. This study analyzes the variation in this tobacco surcharge that insurers are able to charge and reports on potential implications of that variation across states, and by age and metal level (the benefit level of the plan). Secondary data analysis was conducted to analyze the variation in the surcharge. Data was collected from MEPS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as Healthcare.gov. The study found that there is significant variation in the tobacco surcharges across state, and by age and metal level, and that non-tobacco users at the young and old ends of the age spectrum may be being overcharged for their monthly insurance premiums when compared to tobacco users. These findings suggest that future studies should continue to monitor this trend.^

Subject Area

Public health|Public policy|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Shah, Bhumit, "Variation in the tobacco surcharge under the Affordable Care Act and its potential implications" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1598350.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI1598350

Share

COinS