Insurance Premiums for Smokers and Obese Employees – Is it Ethical?


What is your narrowed topic?

Is it ethical for smoking and obese employees to be registered for insurance premiums?

Who is your primary audience or reader? Why?

The primary audience is the affected group that includes smokers, obese people, employers and insurance service providers. The issue in the topic directly affects to the four groups of people. Smokers and obese people will pay high premiums when employers and insurance service providers embrace the policy of excluding them from employers’ insurance coverage. Insurance companies pay health expenditures for all patients. Insurance service providers will spend more on health insurance claims by for smokers and obese people because their chances of getting sick are high. Employers on their part will have to pay higher insurance premiums to cover their obese and smoking employees.

The secondary audience is my professor and other scholars on ethics and health care service provision and equality and healthcare policymakers. I will have to convince them on the validity of my arguments. For other scholars and policymakers, my arguments may affect healthcare discussions and discourses as well as policy making.

Thesis statement

All individuals have a right to access to quality healthcare services and insurance coverage their preexisting health condition notwithstanding. Denying them insurance coverage would be unethical and amount to discrimination and a violation of their rights.

What topic sentences will you use as the foundation of your communication?

Whether employed or not, smokers and obese people are at high risk of contracting lifestyle-related illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke and lung cancer. It is uncontestable that both smoking and obese employees can improve the quality of their lives and health and reduces chances of suffering from these diseases through lifestyle changes.

Quitting smoking and healthy lifestyles improve public health and reduces the billion dollars incurred in treating smoking-related illnesses. Lifestyle diseases are common and cost billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures every year (Stobbe, 2013). Studies have shown that imposing high insurance for obese people and smokers is a punitive strategy that makes people bear the price for their unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices (Resnik, 2013). High insurance premiums for smokers and obese will serve the same purpose to deter people from engaging in unhealthy behaviors.

However, obesity and smoking are health conditions with complex predisposing factors. Factors such as trauma, genetics and environment play a crucial role in increasing chances of individuals suffering from obesity or smoking. Therefore, the causative factors notwithstanding these employees deserve to be registered for insurance premiums.

What method of organization and development will you use to develop your paragraphs?

  • Introduction:
    • Smoking and obesity are some of the leading causes of high insurance premiums paid by individuals and employers. Insurance companies also pay higher healthcare bills due to these conditions.
  • Body:
    • Obesity and smoking can be caused by lifestyle choices.
    • They are more likely to be sick and hence increased insurance cost
    • High premiums charged on these individuals can act as a deterrent
    • However, excluding them from company insurance coverage would be unethical and discriminatory.
  • Conclusion

Lifestyle diseases such as obesity and lung cancer are increasingly becoming common. They cost billions of dollars annually in healthcare expenditures at individual, company and government levels. Obese individuals and smokers can reduce the risk of suffering from these diseases by making lifestyle changes. They can control their diet and smoking habits and in the process help in improving their health and that of the general public. In the process, they can help their employers and themselves save millions of dollars in insurance premiums. However, excluding them from insurance coverage would be unethical and amount to discrimination.



Resnik, D. B. (2013). Charging smokers higher health insurance rates: Is it ethical? The Hastings Center. Retrieved from,

Stobbe, M. (2013). Do penalties for smokers and obese make sense? USA Today. Retrieved from