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One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

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One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:00 pm

First off, I know this post doesn't have anything to do with government legislation so, if I have posted this in the wrong place I apologize, and ask the mods to move it to where it belongs. As many of you know, I work for a major retailer, and receive health insurance as part of my benefits. The other day I received my annual notice of open insurance enrollment coming up in October. As I started to read the notice, they mentioned that since smokers have an approximate 25% higher healthcare cost compared to nonsmokers, insurance rates for smokers was going to go up, (they mention the cost of a pack a day cigarette habit, but in all other instances, they mention it just as tobacco users in general). There was no mention about how much the rates were going to increase, but I'd imagine they would shoot for 25% based on their "studies" citing the 25% higher cost. The notice goes on to state that I must be tobacco free on or before October 15 in order to receive the tobacco free rate on my insurance. My employer has been pushing a quit tobacco program for some time now, and I believe this insurance notice is just moving one step closer to the time when we will be told if you smoke, you can't work here. I'm sorry, but I have a real problem with this, as of now, smoking is still legal, and what I do on my time is none of their business. I think unless they want to pay me for a 24hr day, don't tell me what I can and can't do as long as it's within the boundaries of the law. I hate to see it, but I can see the day when I'll be leaving this company rather than giving up on a hobby I enjoy.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby sik304s » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:42 pm

Years ago I almost took a job at a large sporting goods store. They really frowned on smoking to the point that they did want employees smoking on the premises. People had to get in there cars and drive around the block during their break just to smoke.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:07 pm

sik304s wrote:Years ago I almost took a job at a large sporting goods store. They really frowned on smoking to the point that they did want employees smoking on the premises. People had to get in there cars and drive around the block during their break just to smoke.

That's messed up!
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby acaciavet » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:50 pm

Here is what ya do grab the HR person by the throat and kick its ass. Times are tough we all need our jobs but I really would get my pound of flesh out of some one.

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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:46 am

Well as far as my company is concerned, I doubt the HR person could care less about it, it's someone at the home office that needs some sense beat into them.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby vaburp » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:41 am

If losing your job isn't enough incentive to quit tobacco, then its off to the re-indoctrination center with you. You will comply, you will comply.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:48 am

vaburp wrote:If losing your job isn't enough incentive to quit tobacco, then its off to the re-indoctrination center with you. You will comply, you will comply.

Well, the Borg they ain't, so in my opinion, resistance is not futile! :mrgreen:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby ScotsJim » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:11 pm

That's appalling Mark. Gets me really angry that sort of thing does. I am not saying anything else 'cause I'll only start fuckin' swearing and ranting....suffice to say....if I could physically get hold of the asshole who came up with that policy in the first place I'd happily do time for the bastard.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby bearded1 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:33 pm

Your title should read "One step closer to being forced to find a new job".

Just sayin.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby ChuckMac » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:16 pm

Anyone want to bet that it won't be long before the insurance companies make us be "smokefree" before they insure us at all?
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:56 am

bearded1 wrote:Your title should read "One step closer to being forced to find a new job".

Just sayin.

I here ya!
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:57 am

ChuckMac wrote:Anyone want to bet that it won't be long before the insurance companies make us be "smokefree" before they insure us at all?

Probably, I guess I'll just be uninsured then. :(
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby KevLa » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:28 am

Markw4mms wrote:...I can see the day when I'll be leaving this company rather than giving up on a hobby I enjoy.

Good man! Don't give in to the bastards 8-)
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby KevinM » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:18 am

I find it quite odd that there are no statistics cited by your insurance company for increased health care costs associated with being medically classified as obese, increased costs associated with various degrees of alcohol consumption, or increased costs associated with any other ailment, malady, habit, etc., that can be controlled. I guess they feel they would be insensitive, politically incorrect, or some other corporate term if they did so with those classifications of people. As an American, I also find it quite odd that the crop that gave us economic freedom is being so pursecuted today as an evil and vile thing. Does the Government plan on subsidizing all the farmer who grow tobacco if they are forced to reduce their market if tobacco consumption in America is illegalized? Why not go after the alcohol or fast food industry?? Its not like I couldnt live if McDonalds and alcohol were illegal.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Bob » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:15 am

Markw4mms wrote:Well as far as my company is concerned, I doubt the HR person could care less about it, it's someone at the home office that needs some sense beat into them.



All the company cares about is minimizing how much they have to pay for your insurance. They negotiate the rates every year. Our Gov't is the real bastard. They are pressuring insurance companies to raise rates for smokers or else they will be punished. The sad thing is pipe smokers get lumped in with cigatette smokers in the grand plan.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:53 am

bob9039 wrote:
Markw4mms wrote:Well as far as my company is concerned, I doubt the HR person could care less about it, it's someone at the home office that needs some sense beat into them.



All the company cares about is minimizing how much they have to pay for your insurance. They negotiate the rates every year. Our Gov't is the real bastard. They are pressuring insurance companies to raise rates for smokers or else they will be punished. The sad thing is pipe smokers get lumped in with cigatette smokers in the grand plan.

Yep, my company only mentions cigarettes specifically in stating that cigarette butts are one of the worst polluters fouling the ecology... as for the insurance they say tobacco use period, doesn't matter what it is.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby NCDuke » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:47 am

My job is the same way.. the insurance reeads Tobacco-user or tobacco-free. I tried to get the pipe/ non-cigarette thing through. but they said any tobacco of any kind so the rate goes from... GET THIS... $32 a month to a whopping............... $70 a month... yeah I am not happy..
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Markw4mms » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:02 am

NCDuke wrote:My job is the same way.. the insurance reeads Tobacco-user or tobacco-free. I tried to get the pipe/ non-cigarette thing through. but they said any tobacco of any kind so the rate goes from... GET THIS... $32 a month to a whopping............... $70 a month... yeah I am not happy..

I don't know how much higher it will be, I won't find that out until open enrollment next month. The letter I got cited a supposed 25% higher cost to cover tobacco users, and I expect that the rate will be at least that much higher, I'll just have to wait and see. I will say this, if it goes up too much, I'll just drop my insurance.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Bob » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:53 am

Markw4mms wrote: ... as for the insurance they say tobacco use period, doesn't matter what it is.


I'm sure this case is an exception. An aquaintance of mine, who has private insurance through his own small business, was asked by his health insurance provider if he smoked. He said yes, a pipe. :shock: So, what did they do? They told him if his nicotine level was below a certain amount he would be classified as a non-smoker. He did a blood test and passed. Now, I didn't grill him on it ... did he refrain from smoking for a day,does he smoke only aros, etc... But apparently, at least one insurance company treats pipe smokers different. Maybe the insurance agent was a pipe smoker? Who knows. Like I said, probably a big exception but at least it was a good story to hear.
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Re: One step closer to being forced to be tobacco free

Postby Bob » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:53 am

Markw4mms wrote: ... as for the insurance they say tobacco use period, doesn't matter what it is.


I'm sure this case is an exception. An aquaintance of mine, who has private insurance through his own small business, was asked by his health insurance provider if he smoked. He said yes, a pipe. :shock: So, what did they do? They told him if his nicotine level was below a certain amount he would be classified as a non-smoker. He did a blood test and passed. Now, I didn't grill him on it ... did he refrain from smoking for a day,does he smoke only aros, etc... But apparently, at least one insurance company treats pipe smokers different. Maybe the insurance agent was a pipe smoker? Who knows. Like I said, probably a big exception but at least it was a good story to hear.
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