O.K….. here’s the issue: My place of employment, which is a children’s hospital, is starting this new thing with open enrollment this year. If you are a smoker, it will cost you an additional $50 a PAY CHECK for insurance! They say that by adding a ‘surcharge’ it will help with the costs of the insurance.
Now, I know that smoking is not good for you and the dangers that come with it. I know that you get the smell of smoke in your hair and your clothes. I know that many people think it’s a nasty habit. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. However, if I choose to smoke it’s my business, not my employer’s. What right do they have to tell me what I can do on my own time? Do they tell people that they can’t drink after work and charge them a $50 surcharge for insurance?
The hospital is also charging another surcharge. This one states that if your spouse’s place of employment offers insurance and they don’t take it, my place of employment will charge $50 for them to be on my policy. In other words, if my husband has insurance offered at his place of employment and we decide my employer has the better of the policies, I will be charged the surcharge of $50. Between smoking and the spouse insurance, it can cost an employee $100 a paycheck!
I have to say since this surcharge has become known, that I have quit smoking. Granted, it’s only been about six weeks, but it’s a start. The main reason that I quit is because between the price of cigarettes and the surcharge that they want to charge, I cannot afford to smoke. I realize that there are many positives to my not smoking. I just feel frustrated because I feel like quitting smoking wasn’t my choice per se.
I personally feel that this is going a bit too far. What’s going to be next, are they going to start charging extra if you are overweight? If you have too many children? What do you think? Is this something that your employer or spouse’s employer has implemented? What was your reaction?