Georgia State Employees Upset Over Smoking Surcharge


If you work for the Georgia state government in any capacity and you smoke, your insurance will increase $40 a month.

That one statement shows me that government is not all bad. People choose to smoke. I chose to smoke for 17 years. If you smoke, you have a much greater chance of getting sick and in your later years your health issues are typically more expensive than non smokers. Oh, did I mention that people choose to smoke.

What amazes me is that anyone who opposed this want to be quoted in a newspaper.

Teachers and other state employees who smoke will have to pay $40 a month more for health insurance starting July 1.

Employees are fuming over the surcharge, which hits state workers, public school teachers and their families who admit to smoking or using tobacco in the past 12 months.

Pardons and Paroles and a smoker, said her insurance was jumping from $74 to $117 a month.

“That’s a lot of money for many state employees,” she said. “Our hands are tied. We have to have health insurance. What are we to do?”

About 650,000 people are on the state health insurance plan.

Three states — West Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky — are already imposing a surcharge on health insurance for employees who smoke, a trend that has been sweeping private industry as well.

In Georgia, state employees are expected to abide by the honor system when they sign up for insurance coverage and are asked whether they use tobacco, said Tim Burgess, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health. Those caught lying will lose their insurance for a year, he said.

Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams (R-Lyons) said the surcharge, which helps limit the increase in premiums for state employees, was adopted to fill a projected $400 million shortfall in the insurance fund. Gov. Sonny Perdue proposed a 13 percent rise in premiums, but lawmakers dropped it to 9.5 percent.

“Smokers are very expensive. In the private sector, you pay more if you are a smoker and you pay more for your spouse,” Williams said.

Posted May 12, 2005 by
General | 3 comments

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  • Comments

    3 Responses to “Georgia State Employees Upset Over Smoking Surcharge”

    1. Pink Kitty on May 12th, 2005 5:08 pm

      “What are we to do?”

      Uh…. pay it? Organize a march (coupled with oxygen tanks along the road for those in need) protesting the abject un-fairness of this surcharge since it discriminates against smokers? Start a lobbying group with obese people since, obviously, they will be targeted next? Quit smoking? Take a nap and forget about it?

      There are lots of things for them to do.

    2. Where is my brain? on May 15th, 2005 1:58 pm

      Some people might think that this is a good idea, but just remember now that they are allowed to do this, there will be a fatass surcharge next. Eat at McDonalds and pay more for your insurance! Then a lifestyle surcharge if you do anything that is “at risk” or anything they don’t like. Then they will start doing DNA screening and surcharge you if you arn’t part of the new “perfect race”.

    3. Gary Menefee on September 28th, 2005 12:13 pm

      We need a call to arms, take this country back and give it to “The People”.
      Until Lazy-assed AMerica say’s “Enough is enough”, why dont we just march into a concentration camp like mice and be decimated?

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