Can You Avail Health Insurance If You Are a Smoker?
It is a general notion amongst many people that a smoker cannot avail health insurance. The popular myth that insurance companies generally reject the applications of smokers has resulted in a major portion of such population avoiding the purchase of health coverage. However, the fact is that insurance companies do grant a health cover to the smokers, albeit with slightly stringent terms and conditions in comparison to non-smokers.
Why do smokers need health insurance?
Respiratory problems, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc. are some serious health issues associated with the habit of smoking. Hence, a health insurance plan becomes even more obligatory for smokers to safeguard them against the possibility of catching some deadly disease in the future.
Health insurance can be of great help to a smoker by providing him/her a financial back-up to tackle any medical emergency that may arise in the future and hence, avert financial crunch.
Let’s discuss the questions that smokers usually ask while planning to buy a health insurance policy:
Should I opt for health insurance if I am a smoker?
One of the major mistakes that most smokers make is being apprehensive of facing rejection by insurance firms and shirking away from availing a health insurance plan. However, the fact is that insurers take into account the frequency of smoking and the quantity of nicotine intake by a smoker while considering an application. They turn down a plea only if the applicant is already suffering from a critical health complication arising from extreme smoking.
Will I have to pay a higher premium if I am a smoker?
Sure, the health insurance premiums tend to be on the steeper side for a smoker. However, the difference between the premium amounts paid by a smoker and a non-smoker is not too high. Depending on your smoking habit and your current health condition, your premium amount is determined accordingly.
In fact, not all insurance companies charge a higher premium from smokers. Rather, they ask you to undergo a medical examination (as is the case with a non-smoker as well) to determine the premium of your health plan.
Should I disclose my smoking habit while seeking insurance?
Disclosure of all relevant information is the key to hassle-free claim settlement of any insurance policy. If you provide false information or hide any relevant data from the insurer at the time of buying a health insurance policy, it can jeopardise your claim settlement in the future. Hence, no matter if you smoke occasionally or frequently, you should clearly mention it in the insurance application form.
What if I am a smoker with an existing health condition?
A claim is rejected only for non-disclosure of a related ailment caused by smoking at the time of buying a health insurance plan. So, if you are already showing early symptoms of deteriorating health as a result of smoking, fret not. You can still avail health insurance by making honest disclosures and going through a medical test.
Health insurance usually have a waiting period of 2-4 years from the date of policy issuance before pre-existing conditions are covered. Having said that, it is advisable to get a health coverage as early as possible to avoid paying higher premiums or facing rejection from insurers.
In case you have stalled the purchase of health insurance for too long and need immediate coverage for a condition that you have already developed, you can consider investing in a critical health insurance policy. Bajaj Finserv offers multiple health insurance plans that cover you comprehensively against a range of ailments and diseases. However, while buying a health insurance policy, one should read through the terms and conditions of the policy to avoid any confusions while making a claim.