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Health Insurance Premiums for Smokers

By Chanel Rick - May 28,2022
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The unceasing battle of addiction knows no bounds. It creeps into different aspects of your life, slowly devouring your senses and keeping you from availing of treatment. If you succumb to these urges, the results could be devastating and fatal, and it’s no different for smokers. Whether due to increasingly high stress or early exposure – smoking is dangerous for your health. 

If you think smoking only leads to death, think again! Before the eventual fatality, there are long and painful treatments, surgeries and other procedures. These healthcare treatments could cost you a fortune, even if you have health insurance! Why? Because insurance companies charge smokers higher premium rates. 

Smoking regularly has exposed you to several health risks and conditions. Without adequate rehabilitation and lifestyle changes, you could be due for a major medical procedure. Insurers view such behaviours as a liability, seeing that you might make frequent policy claims. 

Also Read: Protect Yourself from these Lifestyle Diseases in India

Here are some health risks smokers are likely to encounter. 

● Cancer 

● Chronic respiratory problems 

● Heart diseases 

● Diabetes 

● Bacterial and viral infections 

● Dental issues

● Hearing problems 

● Infertility 

● Loss of vision 

● Early menopause 

● Osteoporosis 

With so many negative consequences of smoking, it’s no wonder that insurers are wary about offering medical coverage to smokers! If you’re unable to go cold turkey, it’s advisable to seek professional help and begin the process of rehabilitation. That said, you still need to get health insurance. 

Getting Health Insurance as a Smoker 

Once alerted of your smoking, health insurance companies are less likely to approve your policy application. Most insurance providers are wary about covering individuals who mention smoking as one of their habits in the application. Why? Because you’re likely to develop any of the previously mentioned diseases, and hence, are viewed as a liability. 

Health insurance companies may charge a higher premium to smokers for covering potentially expensive medical procedures they might incur. 

Furthermore, if you’re thinking of concealing the truth from insurers, then that would only work against your favour. 

● Health insurance providers conduct extensive investigations into claims 

● Your diagnosis will state that the condition occurred due to prolonged engagement in harmful activities 

● You’re signing a legally binding contract with the provider; false information could lead to legal trouble

Since the health insurance market has become more competitive after the COVID-19 outbreak, more people have begun filling in false information in their applications. It has led insurers to increase their process of scrutinising data submitted by potential applicants. If caught lying, it might lead to claim rejection, fraud charges or jail time. 

Here’s How Smoking Affects Health Insurance 

Despite all this, does it mean you shouldn’t apply for health insurance? Of course not! Everyone needs the numerous benefits of a policy that provides medical support and financial aid for emergencies. If you just started the habit, it might be in your best interest to quit early. 

Still, looking for more incentives to quit? Then, here’s what happens moments after you decide to quit cold turkey. 

● Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heartbeat rate began to normalise 

● After the 12 hour mark, levels of carbon monoxide in your blood drops 

● Post 3 months, your lung functions and blood circulation will improve 

● After 9 months, the frequency of occurrences like shortness of breath and coughing will reduce 

● A year late, your likelihood of getting a heart attack goes down 

● 5 years later, unlike before, your risk of cancer in the mouth, throat and oesophagus reduce 

● In 10 years, the chances of getting lung cancer reduce 

● Lastly, after 15 years of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease will be considerably down

Isn’t it surprising? Just mere minutes after quitting, your body begins recovering from months and years of damage. Start making the change today; it’s not too late yet! The cure for prolonged damage caused by smoking is in your hands. 

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