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Computer Glitch Gives Some Smokers Reprieve from Obamacare Penalty

Insurers have been notified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that a computer glitch involving the submission of qualified health plans to be offered on the new exchanges will limit insurance penalties on certain smokers...
July 16, 2013

Insurers have been notified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that a computer glitch involving the submission of qualified health plans to be offered on the new exchanges will limit insurance penalties on certain smokers. These smokers will not see the full impact of the penalties that will boost their premiums until the problem is fixed next year.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more to minimize risk, but the system currently cannot process the premiums for older smokers due to another provision in the law preventing insurers from charging older customers more than three times what the youngest adults in the pool are charged. However, HHS insists it is only a temporary issue and will not prevent the exchanges from opening on Oct. 1.

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