Tobacco Surcharge

Why does Lubrizol impose a tobacco surcharge?

Our rationale for implementing a $35-per-pay-period tobacco surcharge is twofold. First, research shows that taxing cigarettes on a per pack basis is effective in reducing tobacco use. For a pack-a-day smoker, the surcharge equates to an additional $2.49 per pack of cigarettes.

Second, the surcharge will help offset the additional health care costs incurred by tobacco users. According to a recent Ohio State University study, the annual health care costs for a smoker are more than $2,000 higher than for a nonsmoker.

To whom does the tobacco surcharge apply? 

The tobacco surcharge applies if you or any covered family member has used tobacco more than once in the past six months.

Does the surcharge apply to all tobacco use or just cigarettes? 

The surcharge applies to all tobacco use — any form, such as a cigar, pipe, cigarette (including herbal), or hookah, or using a smokeless tobacco product, such as chewing tobacco or snuff.

How much is the tobacco surcharge? 

You will be assessed $35 per pay period if you or any covered family member uses tobacco. For a pack-a-day smoker, this equates to an additional $2.49 per pack of cigarettes.

When and how do I certify whether anyone in my family uses tobacco? 

During each annual enrollment, you will be asked to certify whether you or any covered family member uses tobacco products.

Does the tobacco surcharge apply to new hires?

No. The tobacco surcharge is only assessed at annual enrollment. Each annual enrollment you will have to attest to whether or not you and/or your covered family members use tobacco. 

What programs/resources are available to help me and/or family members quit tobacco? 

One of the main reasons for the tobacco surcharge is to encourage you and your family members to quit using tobacco. To help you do that, Lubrizol offers the Smokeless program free of charge to you and your eligible dependents. To access information on the Smokeless program, visit Smokeless® Program.

How much will it cost me and/or my family to participate in an approved tobacco cessation program? 

The Smokeless program is offered free of charge to you and your covered family members.

What is the 2018 reasonable alternative process? 

If you indicate tobacco use during annual enrollment and you wish to avoid the surcharge in 2018, you must complete two criteria:

  1. You must enroll in Smokeless between October 23 and December 1, 2017, and
  2. You must complete 4 out of 5 coaching calls with your Smokeless coach by March 6, 2018
What if I don't enroll in Smokeless during the reasonable alternative enrollment period?

If you indicate tobacco use during annual enrollment and fail to enroll in Smokeless during the reasonable alternative enrollment period the 2018 tobacco surcharge will apply for all of 2018. 

What if I enroll in Smokeless during the reasonable alternative enrollment period, but fail to complete my coaching calls?

If you fail to complete the 4 out of 5 coaching calls by March 6, 2018 the surcharge will be turned on as soon as administratively practicable after the March 6, 2017 deadline. 

What if I quit using tobacco during 2018, can the surcharge be removed? 

Yes. If you no longer meet the tobacco use definition contact Corporate Benefits to have the surcharge removed. No refund will be given.  

How long must my family be tobacco free before the surcharge is eliminated? 

If you do not participate in the reasonable alternative program, you and your family member(s) must be tobacco free for six months before the surcharge is removed. If you successfully reach a tobacco free status contact Corporate Benefits and they will have the surcharge removed.

What do I need to do to have the surcharge eliminated once my family becomes tobacco free? 

If you and/or your covered family member no longer meets the tobacco use definition, contact Corporate Benefits and they will have the surcharge removed.

What if, due to a health factor, it is unreasonably difficult for me or a family member to meet the requirement to be tobacco free? 

If your doctor says the Smokeless program isn’t right for you, contact Corporate Benefits at 440-347-5358 or benefits@lubrizol.com, and we will work with you (and your doctor) to come up with an alternative for avoiding the tobacco surcharge that is appropriate for your circumstances.

Is the tobacco surcharge determined solely by the certification made by the employee during benefits enrollment?  Will employee Health Risk Assessment responses be used to identify tobacco users? 

The tobacco surcharge is determined solely by an employee’s certification during annual enrollment and is based on the honor system (much like the medical surcharge process). Lubrizol will not use information from the Health Risk Assessment to identify smokers. Lubrizol does not receive any individual Health Risk Assessment Results.