Will Smoking Affect My Health Insurance Rate?
Jan 3rd, 2012
Finding an affordable health insurance takes a lot of hard work. It is important for Americans to hurdle this challenge. Without health insurance coverage, a moderate injury or illness can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills. There are several factors that can affect your medical health insurance rates. Smoking is one of these factors and it is near the top of the list in most insurance companies. Let us find out how smoking affects health insurance rates and what smokers can do if they need to purchase health insurance.
Most smokers will ask “will smoking tobacco increase my health insurance rates?” Yes. Smoking will certainly raise your insurance rates. There are certainly numerous data available that proves that smokers are costing insurance companies more money than their non-smoking counterparts. Health insurance companies use studies and data to determine an individual’s health insurance rate. The risks presented by a client decide their premiums or rates. Those with lifestyle, health, or other issues that may cause them to need more expensive health care procedures at a later point in life will be charged with higher premiums to balance this risk.
Insurance companies do not charge smokers with a higher rate simply because they will cost them more throughout their lives. There are also a lot of studies which suggest that smokers cost the nation a great amount of money annually. With every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country pays more than $7 in the form of health care costs, lowered work productivity, and more. This cost does not include the 500,000 premature deaths caused by cigarette smoking annually. Generally, smokers cost the nation an estimated $160 billion each year.
With the large number of smokers that require health insurance, insurance companies have no choice but to also offer health insurance to them or companies will lose out on a potentially large market. Because of the higher risks involved, insurance companies will charge smokers with higher premiums to recover the cost of expensive future medical expenses. It should be noted that insurance companies are not just singling out smokers, the principle of charging higher premiums to high risk individuals also affects those with issues like pre-existing illnesses, hypertension, obesity, and other potential risk factors for future diseases.
What can smokers do about this? The best thing they can do is to quit smoking, of course. Aside from reducing your health insurance premiums, quitting smoking can also extend your life and prevent diseases like cancer, emphysema, COPD, heart disease, and more. Additionally, smokers should worry more about their personal health instead of getting a more affordable health insurance rate. Smokers with health insurance are usually offered coverage for some of the costs to help you quit, this includes medical treatments and cessation aids like nicotine gum, patches, or drug therapy.
If you are currently looking for health insurance and insist that smoking is definitely not an option, you can do some research and try to look for “smoker friendly” insurance companies. These companies try to offer a more affordable health insurance rate for individuals who smoke. Some companies offer reduced health insurance costs provided the individual purchases a package which includes life, auto, home, or other forms of insurance.
In conclusion, smoking causes great damage to the nation; more than just increasing insurance rates. Several negative effects like severe illness, lost of productivity caused by premature death, harming others through second-hand smoke, and many others should be enough to convince smokers to give up the habit. A higher health insurance rate may be another reason for smokers to quit smoking. It remains to be seen whether or not this works as a deterrent.
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