Usually we write about Medicare topics here, but for many of the married couples we talk to one spouse often needs individual insurance for a year or two before going on Medicare. This “pre-65” individual insurance is getting much more expensive for some people.
We recently read an article in the AP (1/25, Alonso-Zaldivar) describing how millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance. Health insurers are allowed to charge smokers up to 50% more than non-smokers beginning Jan 1. The AP suggests this could cost a 60-year-old smoker $5,100 dollars per year, though employees can avoid this by enrolling in smoking cessation programs. In addition the AP also reports that “government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.”
I guess it really is time to stop.