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Branson city workers might have to pay to use tobacco products under proposed insurance plan

September 27, 2011|Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News | areynolds@ky3.com

BRANSON, Mo-- Within the last year, the city of Branson had to undergo a 15 percent increase on insurance premiums for its workers.
The premiums are expected to increase next year so the city is looking at alternative plans.
The the latest proposal would mean workers who don't agree to a wellness plan and use tobacco products might have to foot some of the bill.

"What we are trying to do is work on wellness in our community," said city administrator Dean Kruithof.

City leaders urge that workers still have a choice, but in January workers could pay more than 75 dollars a month to smoke.

Those that opt out of the wellness program and health risk assessment could also end up paying an additional 75 dollars. Workers that opt out of the programs and choose to use tobacco products could end up paying 150 dollars every month.

"We do believe it does provide an incentive for people to live a healthier lifestyle," said Kruithof.

City leaders will provide access to cessation programs to help employees quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

City workers and the public will get to weigh in on the proposal at a meeting on October 11th.

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