Smoking is expensive, and not just for the person buying the cigs. Employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.
But figures on the cost of smoking have been rough estimates at best, with a very general estimate of $193 billion a year nationwide.
Researchers now say they're got much tighter focus on the number: $5,800 per smoker per year.
Researchers at the RAND Corporation set out to find some hard data on one aspect of the health law: Does having medical insurance protect young adults from the financial ruin that often comes with a major injury or illness?
The quick answer: Yep.
Since September 2010, the Affordable Care Act allowed young adults to remain on their parents' medical insurance until they turn 26, and 3.1 million young people have taken advantage of the new rule.
Uninsured Americans who are hoping the new health insurance law will give them access to weight loss treatments are likely to be disappointed.
That's especially the case in the Deep South, where obesity rates are among the highest in the nation, and states will not require health plans sold on the new online insurance marketplaces to cover medical weight loss treatments like prescription drugs and bariatric surgery.
California just unveiled a wide array of choices for the 5.3 million people expected to qualify to buy coverage through its online marketplace established by the federal health overhaul.
It's the first disclosure of prices in the nation's most populous state for individual health insurance that complies with the Affordable Care Act, and the menu of affordable options surprised some consumer advocates and analysts who had been expecting premiums to be much higher.