Soaring medical costs in the 21st century have many Indians diving for health insurance coverage in India. Health insurance premiums were at one point used just for tax benefits. But today we need health insurance in order to avoid huge out-of-pocket expenses if we are hospitalised. Hospitalisation costs have increased rapidly along with improvements in medical care. Hospitalisation can cost anywhere from Rs. 60,000 for 2-3 days for a simple case of food poisoning and can go up to Rs.3-4 lakhs for a cardiac stent. If you live in a Metro, cost of hospitalisation can go up even further, with the expensive facilities at big hospitals. Diseases like cancer can put a big hole in your plans for your family’s education, wedding expenses or even your own retirement plans.
A corporate Insurance plan may no longer be enough to cover costs for an entire family. You may need additional health insurance coverage in India as a top-up to avoid heavy out-of-pocket expenses.
Effects of Smoking on your Health
If you are a smoker, you are at further risk for lifestyle diseases and also for an increase in cancer risk. Your chances of being hospitalization cover in your health policy increases much more when compared to a person who does not smoke. You could be at a higher risk of getting:
- High Blood Pressure
- Cancer (lung cancer)
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) like emphysema
- Heart Ailments
- Respiratory illnesses like Chronic Bronchitis and many others.
And higher chances of pregnancy complications if you are a woman.
Heavy smoking in youth may give you chronic disease later on. Doctors are also noticing younger and younger people ending up in hospitals due to work-related stress together with a lack of exercise and heavy smoking.
It’s no wonder that Health Insurance companies are asking you to pay more premiums with so many risk factors. Your mortality rate increases the longer and the more you smoke. Your average frequency of hospitalisation will be higher than that of a non-smoker. Insurance companies must take all this into account when you apply for health insurance coverage in India.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Health Insurance Premium?
Though smoking is a serious risk factor for you to develop a disease, you should not avoid getting health insurance coverage in India. It is becoming increasingly important with the expense of hospitalisation going up yearly. As a smoker, you may have to pay more premium, but coverage is important for you too. You can find a smoker-friendly insurance company who will not reject you with a little bit of research. You may be asked to get a few additional tests to determine how much you will pay in premium. If you already suffer from an illness due to smoking you may also end up paying more premium than a non-smoker. Age is also considered while setting premiums, so if you are young you may want to get health insurance early so that you pay fewer premiums. They will also factor in details of whether you are a heavy or light smoker while deciding the premium you pay.
It’s better to not hide your smoking habit in order to have a trouble-free reimbursement of expenses in case of hospitalisation later on. Most insurance companies will have strict guidelines for issuing payments so you should state all the facts clearly at the outset. They investigate thoroughly before issuing payments. You don’t want to be refused payment of hospitalisation expenses at a crucial juncture because you hid facts while taking out your policy.
Additional Reading:- Importance of Health Insurance and Its Features
What can you do to lower the premiums?
Quit smoking as soon as possible! It’s better for your health, the health of your loved ones and for your insurance premiums too! If you quit smoking there are chances that you will be considered a non-smoker within a few years. Look for a smoker friendly insurance company, yes, they are out there. The premium you pay for health insurance coverage in India may be less than with a more stringent health Insurance company. Take out a health insurance policy at a younger age to derive the benefits of being disease free. You will probably not be rejected or end up paying a lot higher this way.
Being a smoker does not automatically disqualify you from getting health insurance coverage in India. Look for a good insurance provider and get your coverage before you get a disease. Don’t pay huge unexpected medical bills because you thought you could not get insurance. Tell the truth while taking out a policy, so that settlement will be a whole lot easier and your risk of rejection of a claim is minimised.
With the cost of healthcare increasing every year, be smart. Get health insurance when you are young.
Try to quit smoking, and live a healthy life.