Fingers crossed? Insurer checks if clients lie about smoking

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — A South Carolina insurance company says it is checking medical records to determine if patients enrolled in the federal Affordable Care Act are lying about smoking.

A spokeswoman for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina says those who do smoke will be expected to pay more for premiums beginning this fall. The smoking surcharge will take effect Oct. 1 for such customers and tobacco users must say whether or not they use the drug when they get insurance.

The company finds that only a small percentage of its customers do use tobacco but are not paying the surcharge.

More than 20 percent of South Carolinians smoke, the eighth-highest smoking rate in the country.

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