If you are one of the millions of Americans who smokes, you may be seeing a higher insurance premium when "Obamacare" takes effect.
Under the Affordable Care Act, smokers will face much higher premiums next year. This change will especially effect smokers 55 years and older with individual health plans.
"Smokers are definitely more costly patients. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death worldwide, it accounts for over 400,000 alone," said Doctor Emily Fernandez.
Fernandez says diseases caused by smoking make up a large part of medical spending in the US.
"Cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and COPD, in each one of those has their own disease courses that are very costly," said Fernandez.
Now insurers will be able to charge up to 25% more for smokers 55 and older--in order to recoup those costs.
"Smokers rates will go up and people major illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease that sort of thing they're not going up so I thought that was king of an unusual way that our government figured that out," said Lynn Alexander, President of the Lubbock Area Association of Health Underwriters.
He says even non-smokers should expect to see increased premiums.
"Anytime you have the government running things other than a private entity, your rates are going to go up in any area pretty much," said Alexander.
Alexander says smoking premiums are one of many changes under the new health care law. He says if you have questions on how it will affect you, you can contact your local health insurance agent or reach out to their organization at 745-1381.