It is a bare misconception that smokers face real-time obstacles while getting their insurance plea approved. The fact is, being a smoker will automatically amplify your health insurance premium, when compared to someone who doesn’t smoke. Well, that shouldn’t deter you from buying health insurance, right?
However, a recent survey by a leading insurer said that 57% of smokers don’t possess health insurance. Either they are so much in the misconceptions revolving around the premiums or they think that the insurer will consider all arising future illnesses to be an outcome of the existing habit and rejects the claim. This fear is stopping them from buying health insurance.
If your mind is puzzled with the questions such as would I have to bear a higher premium? Should I opt for health insurance? Or what details to be disclosed? etc.
Fret not! Let’s discuss the repercussions in detail!
Around206 million people are addicted to smokeless tobacco, while 111.2 million are tobacco smokers. Work-stress or peer pressure is the leading cause, where the figure is even terrible when it comes to obtaining health insurance.
The insurance company may term anyone as a smoker who takes nicotine in any of the forms like cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and even nicotine patches or gum. Being a smoker or having a pre-existing illness can’t directly lead to claim rejection. However, if this habit leads to a serious health condition, then the insurance provider might be apprehensive about approving the request. There is no renunciation that smoking leads to serious health conditions like cancer, while on the other hand, 80% of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) cases are due to smoking. In addition, smokers are 16 times more vulnerable to heart diseases. This makes the insurer quite passable to charge a higher premium to nullify the effect of shorter life expectancy or health risks.
The higher premiums no doubt encourage the tendency of hiding the smoking habit while buying insurance. Well don’t practice it as it will be considered as fraud and your insurer has the full right to reject your claim on this ground. Moreover, even if you hide your condition, it will be evident in your medical test. So, it’s better not to hide it from the insurer.
However, the increased premiums are not a flat rate always. Different level of smokers pay equal premiums, however, the addicted one has to pay a bit higher. The rate of premium can go 56% higher than the premiums paid by the non-smokers. The companies offer discounts and incentives for the buyers as well to discourage smoking.
Above all, quitting is the best solution to avoid overpaying health insurance premium. Insurance payouts decrease once you quit smoking as it reduces the risk appetite. Insurers consider smokers who quit as ‘non-smokers’, subject to a certain period of self-denial. So quitting is easier on your pocket, gentler to your health and kind of increases your chances of availing health insurance to stay covered against the ailments.
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