How Smoking Impacts Your Health Insurance Policy?
Are you a smoker? Do you want to purchase health insurance? If yes, then be ready to pay a higher amount for your health insurance policy. Health risks associated with being a smoker are higher, which is why health insurance providers charge a higher premium amount to mitigate the risks associated with it.
It is common knowledge that health insurance and smoking do not go hand-in-hand. Whether there are male smokers or female smokers in India, the fact remains that smoking can affect your life insurance policy. Today, we’ll learn more about the answer to the question of ‘does smoking affect life insurance.’
What is Described as Tobacco Use?
Before we talk about cancer insurance for smokers and test for smoking health insurance, it is important to understand what constitutes tobacco use. Usually, when an individual consumes tobacco in any form, including cigars, cigarettes, snuff, pipe tobacco, or chewing tobacco, more than four times a week then that is referred to as tobacco use.
It should be noted that this tobacco use should be done for more than six months. Further, the term ‘smoking’ can be associated with other products also like electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes run on batteries and serve as nicotine inhalers. Smokers are switching to these devices to change the traditional use of cigarettes.
There are also some people who think that switching to electronic cigarettes is an effective strategy for someone who wants to quit smoking. This is not true. Even though vapor products and electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, these products can still make quitting difficult. Also, it is further difficult to classify these products under tobacco use.
Does Smoking Affect Health Insurance Premiums?
The most popular health insurance smoking question is if smoking has an effect on the premium cost. And when it comes to smoking and health insurance, then the answer to this question is yes.
There are several reasons why one will have to pay a higher premium if he or she smokes. This includes the fact that one can suffer from several illnesses like:
- Respiratory Illness
- Respiratory Complications
- Heart Disease
- Lung Cancer
Smoking can also result in several pregnancy complications and osteoporosis in women. When all of this is considered, then it is quite easy to understand the answer to the question of how smoking affects your health insurance.
What Should a Smoker Do to Lower Health Insurance Premiums?
Now we know that smokers will have to pay a higher health insurance premium cost. The next step is to understand what a smoker can do to lower the cost of health insurance premiums. Some of these things that smokers can do are:
- Find insurance companies that are smoker-friendly
- Join a smoking cessation program. There are some companies that provide a lower premium to individuals who are active members of smoking cessation programs or have dropped smoking for at least 2 years or more
How Do Health Insurance Companies Know If You Smoke?
When an individual is filling out an application for a health insurance policy, then he or she will have to report about his or her smoking habits. Usually, two questions are asked in regards to this. These questions are:
- Do you smoke?
- Have you been using tobacco in the last six months?
One can either choose to tell the truth or lie under such a situation. If an individual chooses to lie to get a lower premium, then that is known as insurance fraud. It is true that this type of fraud is not as serious as the other types of fraud that are associated with insurance. However, the individual will still have to pay a penalty for committing the fraud.
It should be noted that routine medical examinations are carried out to verify the answer of an individual to these questions. Further, if, in the future, the deterioration of your health is found to be associated with one’s tobacco consumption or smoking, then the claim will be rejected.
The company will also order an investigation into the medical status of the insured. This could result in an ugly legal battle with the insurance provider. In this case, one will have to foot the bill of enormous medical expenses and pay the penalty for committing insurance fraud.
Because of all these reasons, being honest is the way to go when it comes to filling out your health insurance application. Disclose and come clean about your smoking habits. You will have to pay a higher premium for your health insurance but at least your medical expenses and bills will be covered in the future without any shred of doubt.
Why Should You Quit Smoking?
It is a well-known fact that cigarette smoking is one of the major causes of death in India. Because of smoking, diseases like cancer and heart conditions are on the rise. There are several studies that show that there are many benefits of not smoking. Some of these benefits are:
- The blood pressure and heartbeat rate of an individual drop right after 20 minutes of quitting smoking
- The level of carbon monoxide in the blood reduces significantly after 12 hours of quitting smoking
- After three months of quitting smoking, the lung functions and circulation in the body improved greatly
- Within nine months of quitting cigarettes, problems like coughing and shortness of breath also decrease
- The risk of heart attacks will also go down within a year of quitting smoking
- The risk of cancer in the throat, mouth, bladder, and esophagus is reduced to a great extent after five years of quitting smoking
- After 10 years of quitting cigarettes, the chances of lung cancer drops significantly
- The chances of coronary heart diseases reduce after 15 years of quitting smoking
On top of all this, you get a lower health insurance premium rate!