‘Smoking is injurious to health’, is a fact; but smoking will disqualify you from attaining insurance is totally a myth.
One of the biggest drawbacks in today’s time is that we have adapted ourselves to a very unhealthy lifestyle, which has resulted in severe health issues and, that too, from a very young age. Adding more to this unhealthy lifestyle smoking is becoming very common. So, smoking must not be considered a reason to skip health insurance or in other words, Health insurance is for everyone: even for smokers.
Addiction to tobacco, stressful lifestyle, peer pressure and trying to socially fit in, are some of the reasons why more and more people are taking up to smoking. Whatever is the reason, not buying health insurance if you smoke is a big mistake and can drain your finances in case of any medical emergency, especially for those where such a person is the primary source of income for the family.
Some of the common reasons why smokers avoid buying health insurance are, they feel that their application would be rejected, or the insurance companies will charge a higher premium and sometimes also the moral dilemma of whether to disclose it or not.
Will the habit of smoking result in the rejection of your application?
The biggest reason that people who smoke are apprehensive about buying health insurance is that they have convinced themselves that smoking will invariably result in rejection of their application. However, the fact is that health insurance is for everyone: even for smokers and smoking does not automatically rule you out from getting health insurance, but insurance companies are just more cautious at the time of processing the application.
The insurance company will reject the plea only in cases of severe health complications as a result of excessive smoking. Thus, if smoking has already resulted in health-related issues only then the application is rejected. Otherwise, the insurance company will ask for some additional information from the applicant and issue a health insurance policy.
Do companies charge a higher premium for people who smoke?
Another common misconception is that the health insurance company will charge a very high premium for all those who smoke. But, the reality is that health insurance company determines the premium on the basis of the results of your health conditions. The insurance company will ask you to undergo a medical test and the premium would depend on the results of your medical reports. If there is no issue in your medical report, then the premium may be the same or just slightly higher than that for a non-smoker. Only in those cases where the insurer feels that health is a concern due to smoking habits, a higher premium will be charged. However, the decision is strictly case to case basis and there is no general rule that the premium for smokers is high.
Does the insurance company issue health insurance policies for existing health ailments for those who smoke?
Some of you may have developed some health issues and do not have a health insurance and wondering if you would still be eligible for a health insurance policy or not. Well, as we have already mentioned that health insurance is for everyone: even for smokers, so yes you can still buy a health insurance policy but only after undergoing few medical tests and in case the insurer finds the customer as healthy, then the policy is issued normally. If the person is deemed unhealthy, then the insurer will issue the policy with some exclusions or loaded premium. In such cases, even though the premium is on the higher side, it is still advisable to buy health insurance as the costs are miniscule as compared to what you would incur in case of any medical emergency.
Should you disclose about your habit of smoking?
You should always make full disclosure about your health and habits to your insurer if you want your claims to be settled hassle-free. Concealing any information from the insurance company can lead to rejection of claims later. So, even if you smoke occasionally, you mention it in your application as the company will do a thorough examination before settling the claim.
The final word
In today’s time health insurance is a must for everyone and smoking is no reason to give it a skip. However, one thing which you should keep in mind before buying health insurance is that insurance is based upon the principal of utmost faith and hence you must disclose all the information to your insurance provider at the time of purchasing the policy. Any false information can affect your claim settlement process later. So, smoking is not any reason to avoid taking health insurance.