State employees will pay more to light up

Image by Flickr user the half-blood princeImage by 20080814smoking.jpg Smoking just became even more expensive.

Come January 2010 state employees who smoke will pay $25 more a month for health insurance.

The rate hike also applies if anyone covered by the plan smokes. But the rate hike doesn't kick in until January 2010.

Many places covered this, but your best bet for more information is The Post and Courier.

The hike was approved by the South Carolina Budget & Control Board.

Update August 15: The Post and Courier has lengthened their story with the nit-and-grit regulation like this involves.
The surcharges could help make it less likely all employees might see a premium hike, although a $25 fee will only cover a fraction of the estimated $115 monthly cost to insure a smoker. The state health-care plans shell out $75 million a year on smoking-related illnesses.

They also note surcharge rates at other states, reactions, and rate details.

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