State employees who smoke could see insurance costs go up

Published On: Feb 22 2013 10:26:08 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Governor Scott Walker's is proposing to charge state employees who smoke extra for health insurance.

Employees would see an additional $50 on their insurance bill every month under the governor's budget proposal. It's being proposed as a way to offset the additional costs that can come with smoking.

Health experts see it as the incentive a person needs to finally quit. "If you are a smoker, the number one thing you can do for your health is stop smoking. Through your life, there are a number of chronic conditions that can start because of your smoking condition," said Sarah Havens from Gundersen Lutheran's Preventative Services.

Havens says $50 a month probably won't fully offset the associated costs.

If you are a smoker and looking to quit, there are a number of programs in the area, including one through Gundersen Lutheran.