Smokers have historically had higher insurance premiums than non-smokers. This fact did not change when the Affordable Care Act rolled out last year. The average smoker will pay up to double what a non-smoker will dole out for health insurance starting this year with the enactment of the “tobacco surcharge.”
Since most people feel that e-cigarettes are a better alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, it comes as a surprise to some vapers that many life and health insurance companies continue to classify the two products as the same when calculating premiums.
According to a survey conducted by Munich American Reassurance Company in 2014, most insurance spokespeople (roughly 9 out of 10) felt that e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes should be labeled the same.
This number may be so high in large part due to the fact that e-cigarettes are still relatively new. Many insurers are still unsure how to proceed with e-cigarettes since they’ve only been around since 2007 and there isn’t much information about the effects of long-term usage.
The controversial nature of e-cigarettes is causing insurance companies to classify e-cigarettes the way they are already accustomed to doing. In addition, e-cigarettes still being unregulated makes it easy for insurance companies to label vaping the same as smoking tobacco cigarettes.
More information about FDA regulations can be found on our knowledge center.
Until we have more information about e-cigarettes, these policies are unlikely to change much. This is because it’s safer for them to stay in the “grey” area rather than take a chance in favor of e-cigarettes.
However, e-cigarette users can benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s insurance consideration factors. Insurance companies can only inquire about your age, location, family size and whether you use tobacco before selling you a plan. Since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, vapers can truthfully answer that they do not use tobacco products.
To read more about e-cigarettes and your insurance company, please read our latest knowledge center article. More information about e-cigarettes can be found on our blog as well. And of course, as always, visit our site to purchase e-cigarette starter kits.