Smoking can have a negative effect on your health. The warning message that is printed on every cigarette box states, “Smoking is harmful to your health.” Tobacco smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths. It also increases the risk of developing heart disease 16 times more often.
India has almost 120 million smokers. According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for around 12% world’s smokers. From 78 million men smoking tobacco in 1998 to 108 millions in 2015, the number of them has risen. Six million people die each year from tobacco consumption. Over 5 million people die from direct tobacco use, while 0.6 million are killed by second-hand smoke. The Government banned smoking in public places starting October 2, 2008, due to serious health risks.
It can be detrimental to your health and cause you to pay higher premiums for health insurance policies. This is due to the increased risk of developing a chronic illness or a shorter life expectancy. As a reward for living a healthy lifestyle, a non-smoker receives premium discounts. It is best to not smoke and to inform your insurance company about your smoking habits. This will help you cover any health problems related to smoking.
People are curious about how smoking affects their health insurance, and the cost of it. Let’s talk about the effects of smoking on your health insurance policy.
Smoking: What Does It Include?
Smoking is the inhalation of smoke from tobacco, whether it’s cigarettes, cigars or beedi. You will be covered under the health insurance policy regardless of whether you smoke regularly or not.
You can purchase health insurance for smokers, but the insurance company might charge you an extra premium or refuse your application. This is based on how many cigarettes you smoke. Additional health checks may be required for smokers. This will help insurance companies determine the risk factor and charge the premium accordingly.
How smoking affects your health and insurance premium
You can have serious health consequences from smoking. Some of these are listed below.
Circulatory System: Having a smoking habit increases your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis could be caused by the buildup of fatty acids.
The Immune System: Long-term and severe illnesses can be caused by smoking. Smokers are more prone to develop ulcers, cancer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, bronchitis, and other viral/bacterial/fungal infections.
Respiratory System Smoking can cause damage to the lungs and even lead to breathlessness. Smoking can cause damage to the air sacs in the lungs and increase the risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
Oral Health Smoking may lead to tooth decay, tooth staining and gum disease.
Cancer: Long-term smoking can also cause cancer in various organs.
An insurance company will consider the severity of diseases and deaths that can be caused by smoking when determining whether to offer health insurance. This is why smokers must pay higher premiums in order to have health insurance coverage. Smokers are typically charged around 15% to 20% more by insurance companies. Smokers will need to have additional medical screenings before an insurer issues a policy.
We need to understand the premium that a smoker is charged over a non-smoker.
Ritesh, a non-smoker, purchases an individual health policy with Rs 5 lacs coverage. The annual premium amount for a 1 year policy term is Rs 4,656. Raj (a smoker) purchases an individual health plan. He is charged an annual premium amount Rs 7,552. Ansh is in the smoker category, which results in an increase in premium. Raj pays Rs 2896 more for smoking.
Smoker with a Health Problem
You may be a smoker who has contributed to your declining health condition. You can get a health insurance policy if you are honest about your medical history.
After assessing your risk profile, the insurance company will decide on terms and conditions and the premium that you will pay for health coverage. Pre-existing conditions will result in higher premiums and a waiting period. You may also consider a critical illness policy if you need immediate coverage for your rapidly deteriorating health condition.
Smoking can have a negative impact on your health, and your insurance policy. A higher premium will be charged by an insurance company if there is a risk involved in providing health coverage. Important: You should disclose all information about your health and smoking habits. If you are caught hiding or giving false information, your insurance company might decline to settle the claim.