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Health Insurance For Smokers - Everything You Need to Know About
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A smoker’s guide to buying health insurance policy

Anirban (24 – years old) lives in Kolkata and works in a marketing company. Anirban’s company didn’t offer him any corporate health insurance plan at the time of joining. Being a meticulous person, Anirban is thinking about purchasing an individual health insurance policy that would give him the utmost coverage and protection against various diseases. But Anirban is a smoker. So, he is not sure whether his policy purchase application will be accepted by insurance companies.

Here we are going to discuss whether a smoker like Anirban can purchase a health insurance policy or not.

Whenever you are planning to purchase a health insurance policy, certain parameters may influence your policy premiums. And, smoking is one of them. This is one of the pivotal factors against which the premium is calculated. 

You might be happy to know that smokers can also purchase various health insurance policies, but it has separate terms and conditions for the plan. The prime reasons for these alternative terms are various lifestyle diseases that smokers are susceptible to. 

Apart from purchasing health insurance policies, smokers also think about whether they can continue smoking after covishield/covaxin.

Can we smoke after taking Covishield?

There is no recommendation regarding avoidance of smoking following vaccination.

Can we smoke after taking Covaxin?

Like the above, there is also no recommendation regarding avoidance of smoking after taking covaxin doses.

If you are a smoker, just follow the below-mentioned points to purchase a health policy.

Health Insurance For Smokers - Everything You Need to Know About

Don’t conceal or hide any relevant information from your insurance company

In India, many smokers are willing to purchase various health insurance plans to secure their health and finances. So, health insurers offer coverage to these smokers. But whenever you are planning to purchase a health policy, always disclose the relevant information to the insurer. This will also help you to choose the right health insurance policy for your healthcare requirements.

While you sign up for a health insurance policy, the insurance company may ask you some typical questions like: 

  • Do you smoke?
  • How long have you been using tobacco?
  • In the last 6 months, have you used tobacco/nicotine?
  • How many cigarettes do you consume per day?
  • Do you have any health problems because of your smoking habit?

 

Some insurance providers may advise you to go for medical tests to check whether you meet the eligibility criteria or not. The insurance coverage is also decided based on your age and the sum insured amount. Always update your insurance provider regarding any lifestyle changes, even after paying premiums. This will ensure that you will not face any problems in the claim settlement process. Keep informed your insurer about your lifestyle changes, including an increase in the number of cigarettes in your daily routine or your waning health conditions.

Smokers should go for health check-ups before opting for a health policy

As a smoker, you should perform your medical tests before choosing a healthcare policy for yourself. These will also minimize disputes at the time of the claim settlement. Medical tests are compulsory for smokers as these tests will evaluate the premium amount based on your health. Smokers should go for medical check-ups as follows,

  • If you are suffering from some serious pre-existing diseases like Type II diabetes, heart diseases, and hypertension, your insurance coverage will be calculated based on these ailments.
  • Smokers who smoke between 10-20 cigarettes per day may not enjoy the benefits of a health insurance policy.
  • If you have already quit smoking, you should still reveal it to your insurance company before making the final decision. There should always be transparency between you and your insurance company to avoid consequences in the future.

 

Always inform your insurance provider about your smoking habits

If you are a novice buyer, inform your insurance company about your smoking habits and frequency before starting the procedure. Let’s take a look at why it is imperative for you to inform your insurance company about your smoking habits.

  • If you inform your insurer about your health beforehand, then it will help you to choose the right policy that will safeguard you in the case of a healthcare emergency.
  • If you don’t inform your insurer about your smoking habits, then there is a chance of claim rejection. This is especially if you need to be hospitalized for any treatment related to smoking or nicotine substances diseases.
  • If your insurance company conducts your blood test, then it will understand the levels of nicotine in your blood. 
  • You may be a non-smoker at the time of purchasing, but later, you have started smoking over the years. You must inform your insurance company about the same, in the future, you may be accused of making fraudulent claims. The insurer can even cancel your health policy.
  • If you are proved guilty later, the insurer will still consider your claim as insurance fraud. 

 

How much premiums do smokers need to pay?

Your smoking habit can affect your health insurance premium because of associated health risks. Let’s take a look at what could be your premium amount if you are a smoker and how your policy will work.

  • The charge of health insurance premium for smokers is higher by Rs. 2000-3000 as compared to non-smokers.
  • Since smokers are more susceptible to diseases like heart disease, lung infections, cancer, chronic bronchitis, stroke, etc., hence insurance companies usually charge a higher premium amount from them.
  • The insurance premium for smokers depends on insurance providers. 
  •  Most health insurance companies don’t charge higher premiums for smokers until they have any health complications before purchasing the insurance. 
  • Before selecting a plan, read all the terms and conditions of your policy

 

If you are a healthy person with no pre-existing diseases but consume a few cigarettes per day, you can confidently purchase a health policy without any worry. Moreover, if you suffer from any health conditions after purchasing a policy, your conditions will be covered in the health insurance plan. So, if you are a smoker, don’t hide your habit from the insurer. Rather, always inform your insurance company about your habits to enjoy the benefits of your policy.

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