Kanawha County Smokers to See Higher Health Insurance Costs

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

KANWAHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Tobacco users who work for Kanawha County will see an increase in their health care premium in the next six months.

Commissioners, at their meeting Thursday, approved a 15 percent increase. This increase is additional to the tobacco increase already in place.

The increase will include employees who don't smoke but have a family member who does.

The increase will vary depending on an employee's salary. On average the increase will range from $20 to $27 dollars.

Commissioners were considering a 25 percent increase but felt 15 was more fair.

"A lot of health issues are caused by tobacco use so the idea is to penalize, incentiveize, what ever you want to call it to try to curtail the use of tobacco use within reason," Commission President Kent Carper said.

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