Do you have a history of smoking or you still smoke? Want to know the impact of it on health insurance? Here we have answered your questions with this article.
It’s known to everyone that tobacco smoking is injurious to health and addictive. Smoking affects almost every organ of human body. As per Global Burden of Disease Study, approximately 6.4 million deaths in the world are caused by smoking. India is one among the top 4 countries in death by smoking.
With the main cause of life-threatening diseases, smoking does not just spoil your health; it even affects your finances in many ways. Being addicted to smoking can automatically elevate your life insurance and health insurance premium. However, that should not deprive you of making an essential investment for your well-being! Especially, securing your health with adequate insurance is vital to deal with soaring medical costs year after year.
How does smoking affect your health insurance?
Elevated health insurance premium rates
Smoking is one such habit that certainly raises the health insurance premium rates for you as smokers are categorised under ‘high risk’ profile by insurers. However, underwriting rule may vary among insurers and rate may vary among them. Pricing of health insurance is done on a case-specific basis keeping in mind your overall medical history and many other elements.
A very simple reason to keep the smoker under ‘high risk’ category is the multiple illnesses that he/she is prone to as an effect of a smoking habit. It results in-
- Cancer- various types of cancer like lung cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer, larynx cancer, and so on can be a result of this habit.
- Heart (cardiovascular) diseases
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Skin and vision problems
In women, smoking can lead to many complications during pregnancy and can even lead cervix cancer. Looking at the mortality rate and criticality of the illnesses that smoking can cause, for an insurance company, a smoker is likely to have more expensive healthcare requirement and treatment in future. Hence, smokers are charged more for health insurance than a non-smoker. However, age and medical tests etc. will be considered in determining the premium.
In some cases, the insurer may not charge smokers and non-smokers differently. Instead, they may have different terms for coverage and policy exclusions when it comes to smokers. Health insurance proposal forms ask you whether you smoke or not. If you say yes, then, they may provide a coverage excluding the smoking-related illnesses. However, you should not lie and withhold such valuable information. Many times, you may have to undergo a medical test at the time of policy enrolment. Withholding of information on the proposal form may result in serious implications for policy cancellation and claim rejections in future.
Quit Smoking for your Health and Finance!
To stay healthier and save money, the best way out is to quit smoking. Coming out of addiction and saying goodbye to smoking habit may seem like a very difficult task. But, quitting has some amazing benefits. Few of the benefits are mentioned below-
- Increased chance of longevity
- Reduced risk of heart diseases, range of cancers, stroke, hypertension and many more devastating ailments
- Improves mental well being
- Getting rid of expensive habit automatically helps you save money
- Stops you from harming your loved one’s health and people around you
- Over the years of quitting, helps you get a comprehensive insurance coverage at a considerably lower rate of premium.
To conclude, smoking results in many serious health problems, but it does not make you ineligible to buy health insurance plan. You may have to pay a slightly more or may not be able to get the comprehensive coverage being a smoker. Health insurance pricing is done discreetly for each case. Apart from smoking, there are other elements like age, and medical history etc. are considered while determining your health insurance premium. Be you a smoker or a non-smoker; it’s essential to secure your health with a health insurance plan to deal with any unexpected healthcare needs. Stay true, and disclose all the details correctly.
Buy health insurance for yourself today!