Can I be discriminated against regarding my insurance coverage, if I am a smoker?

UPDATED: Jun 23, 2014

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Can I be discriminated against regarding my insurance coverage, if I am a smoker?

The company I work for had been providing a basic health plan at no cost to me. The company was recently sold and the new company offer 3 different coverage plans. The first being at no cost. When we were being informed about the plans, the senior VP of operations stated that in order to reduce the number of smokers on their plans, since premiums are more expensive, they were not going to subsidize any smoker’s coverage to be effective this month. I asked the question, if the office manager and I have the same basic plan, her insurance would be paid and mine would not be paid since I am a smoker? The answer was correct, I would have to pay for my coverage, she would not. Is this right?

Asked on June 23, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A person is not discriminated per se because he or she is a smoker when applying for insurance and whether the application is accepted or not. The reason being is that there are attendant risks of insuring a smoker over a not smoker and an insurance carrier is free to deny the applocant or not.

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