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Can Smoking Affect Senior Citizen Health Insurance Premium?

The thing that makes us different from animals is the brain we have in our heads. The extreme qualities of our minds helped us survive and rule these lands for millions of years.

This brain may be a blessing to us but it is a curse to other organisms living on this planet, and Mother Nature is paying us back by giving us numerous deadly diseases which eventually resulted in decreasing the life expectancy of humans.

Because of our carelessness, thousands of illnesses have been introduced all these years, and nearly every other organism is affected by it.

In this world full of harmful things, living a healthy life is a difficult task especially when your age is between 65-80 years. This is the age when you get the tag of a senior citizen, and you have to face all those problems that come with this age.

Making a smart move is very important to survive at this age, and that step is taking a health insurance plan. This is the age when your immune system becomes weak, and it is effortless for the germs to attack you. Healthcare is very expensive these days and buying a senior citizen’s health insurance plan is the best thing you can do to keep your body as well as your pockets happy.

Since most senior citizens don’t earn, they survive on their pensions and other retirement plans it is challenging for them to pay higher premiums. Therefore it is vital for them to compare various insurance policies and choose the best among them. There are some critical factors that must be observed while taking a senior citizen’s health insurance plan.

Senior Citizen Health Insurance Cover

Finding the best coverage at maximum premium rates is the most important thing one must do before taking a senior citizen’s health insurance plan. An average public insurance company will give you a cover of around ₹1 to ₹2 lakhs while an average private insurance company will provide you with a cover of ₹15 lakhs to ₹20 lakhs but the premium is comparatively much higher in private insurance companies, and they can also ask for co-payments.

Coverage for Diseases

Sometimes it happens that a policyholder is suffering from a particular disease even before taking the policy in those cases most health insurance companies do not provide coverage for those diseases which can become a problematic issue in the future. You have to take a policy that will provide you coverage even for those diseases which you are suffering from before taking the policy.

The policyholder must take care of these points before taking the policy if he wants to live his senior citizen’s life happily. Apart from these, there are many other points that can affect the premium of the insurance, and among those the most debatable topic is does smoking influences the premium of senior citizen health insurance policy.

Smoking is injurious to our health, and at those ages, the effects of smoking can be adverse. The probability of becoming ill increases when the factor of smoking adds up to your lifestyle. Smoking kills the person from the inside this fact has great importance for the insurance companies as the terms and conditions of policy change when you are a smoker.

An insurance company defines a smoker as a person who uses tobacco in forms like cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, vapor products, and electronic cigarettes more than four times a week and continues this process for more than six months then the person is known as a smoker.

The thing that varies the most when you are a smoker is the premium of your policy. A smoker has to give comparatively high interest rates in comparison to non-smokers. Following are some reasons defining how smoking affects senior citizen health insurance policy:

  • Lung cancer
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • COPD
  • Heart Disease
  • Emphysema
  • Respiratory organ illness
  • Pregnancy complications in women

These are severe diseases, and there is a considerable possibility of dying if someone is suffering from these diseases. Therefore, the premium rates of smokers are more. The first thing that comes to your mind after reading these points is anyone can easily hide their smoking habits from the insurance company, but it is not that easy.

The health insurance company follows a set of rules before giving the policy to its customers. The whole medical report of the client is checked, and if a little indication of smoking is seen, the client is transferred to the smoker category.

Even if you pass the test of the insurance company there is a chance of becoming ill due to smoking, and eventually, the company will know, and then it will void your claim, and you have to pay your bills by yourself.

Smoking is bad for our health, but that doesn’t mean that a smoker always has to kick his pocket to get a good insurance policy. There are a few things that a smoker can do to reduce the premium of the insurance policy.

Co-payments in Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan

Co-payments in health insurance plans may be defined as the percentage of the claim that must be paid by the policyholder, and the remaining amount is funded by the insurance company. Different insurance companies have different co-payment percentages, and you have to choose a policy that has good coverage, and the co-payment percentage is low.

Maximum Age

A senior citizen health insurance policy is for those who have age between 65-80 years, but some insurance companies restrict the age to 69 years only. It is essential to check this feature of the policy very carefully

Find a Smoker Friendly Insurance Company

The population of smokers is increasing rapidly over the past few decades. Although ethics and human life are important, money holds great value in today’s world. Therefore, there are some insurance companies that provide insurance to smokers at a lesser premium in comparison to standard insurance companies even if the claim risk is very high. Look for an insurance company that doesn’t take more amount more from smokers.

Use Smoking Cessation Program

After observing the number of smokers in the world, some insurance companies started smoking cessation programs which are very useful in decreasing the cost of health insurance premiums. You just have to stay away from smoking for at least two years before the premium starts to drop.

In the cases when the insurance company finds you lying about your smoking habits, there are a few things that the insurance company can do against you.

  1. No claim will be provided to the policyholder if the insurance company finds him lying about smoking and the policyholder cannot sue the insurance company for this.
  2. The insurance company will compare your premiums to a smoker and a non-smoker and find out the difference between them, and you have to pay that amount of money as a penalty fee.
  3. In some extreme cases, the insurance company can also declare you as a fraud, and it can take some legal action against you.
  4. The insurance companies provide leniency to those smokers who are willing to quit smoking. If the policyholder is in the process of quitting smoking, he can ask the insurance company for some relief in the premium, and the company will lower the premium after a time frame of 12 months after the policyholder quits smoking.

To get the best out of your insurance company, never lie to your insurance company because there are a lot of methods by which the company can mislead you. Apart from the drawbacks of smoking in the field of health insurance, it is hazardous if you are a senior citizen. Your body is not capable of handling the effects of smoking at this age, and you have to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Advantages of Giving up Smoking

Cigarette smoking is among the major causes of death all over the world, especially in our country. Here people are not fully aware of the effects of smoking on their lives. Here are some advantages of quitting smoking forever:

  1. It will decrease your blood pressure. Studies have proved that 20 minutes after you quit smoking, the blood pressure and heart rate of your body automatically drop.
  2. After 12 hours, the amount of carbon monoxide will reduce your blood.
  3. After three months of quitting cigarettes, the functionality of the lungs starts to improve.
  4. After nine months, shortness of breath and cough disappear
  5. After 12 months of quitting smoking, the risk of heart attack decreases.
  6. After five years the probability of cancer in your vital body parts such as mouth, throat, bladder, and esophagus will decrease.
  7. After ten years, the chances of lung cancer drop.
  8. After 25 years you quit smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease will reduce.

So, just give up the bad habit today and live a healthier and more blissful life forever!

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