Palm Beach County School District employees who smoke will pay at least US$50/month extra for health insurance beginning Jan. 1; move is a way to limit employees' premium increase, district says

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida , June 6, 2011 () – Palm Beach County School District employees who smoke will have to pay at least $50 extra per month for their health insurance starting next year.

Workers who sign a "tobacco affidavit" saying they plan to continue using tobacco products - or those who don't sign before the Aug. 1 deadline - will see the surcharge beginning Jan. 1.

The district says its insurance provider wants to increase all employees' insurance premiums next year. The tobacco surcharge and other measures like requiring employees to get a physical are ways to limit that increase, the district says.

The school district is the largest employer in the county, with roughly 21,000 workers.

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