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Tobacco surcharges on individual metallic plans

In 2018, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be surcharging for tobacco usage on Affordable Care Act (ACA) metallic plans. If a client or agent answers “yes" to the tobacco question during an enrollment, the member will be surcharged 20 percent more. Below are some important things to know about this new surcharge:

  • Arkansas Blue Cross will not monitor a client’s selection; in other words, we will not check to see if a member truly uses tobacco or not.
  • Members will simply self-attest to the tobacco question during the enrollment process.
  • Members that are surcharged for tobacco usage will be able to utilize our smoking cessation program at no cost. The program can be accessed through My Blueprint.
  • We will not remove the surcharge when a member participates in the smoking cessation program.
  • The member is locked into the higher tobacco rate until open enrollment unless they have a special election period during the year.
  • Arkansas Works members that check the tobacco usage box will have no impact on their premium.