Taking out health insurance has always been advisable, but the Covid pandemic has further highlighted its importance. High premiums are one of the factors that keep people from buying health insurance. However, the amount of premium you pay depends on various factors such as your health condition and habits. Here are five factors that will increase your health insurance premiums.
Today, many people suffer from various ailments due to their unhealthy lifestyle. People can get diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, and high cholesterol. This, of course, poses a threat to your life, but it can also affect the premiums you pay for your health insurance.
“When a person suffers from such a disease, the chances of filing a claim with an insurer are higher compared to a person who does not suffer from it. Any projected increase in the frequency of claims and the amount of claims for such risks must also be factored into the pricing of health products, so a balance must be maintained,” says Gurdeep Singh Batra, Head of retail underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Most insurance companies increase the premium for those who smoke, drink or chew tobacco. This leads to life-threatening diseases like ulcer, cancer. “Smokers end up paying more for their insurance than non-smokers. An insurance company can charge you the same premium as a heavy smoker, even if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day. The reason behind this is that you might end up having more health issues,” says Amit Chhabra, health insurance manager at Policybazaar.com, an insurance aggregator.
Pre-existing medical conditions
If you have pre-existing medical conditions due to an unhealthy lifestyle, the company may choose not to cover them at all. “Some health insurance products provide a charge on a few lifestyle-related illnesses, which means that a person has to pay a slightly higher premium to be insured by ensuring that their high risk of claim is properly covered there. into account,” says Batra.
Some insurers may include a waiting period to make a claim for conditions the insured is susceptible to in order to reduce risk. “Alternatively, a person suffering from any disease is sometimes advised by the insurer to take a medical test at one of its network service providers to determine the current state of the disease and support the clientele accordingly. “, explains Batra.
In some cases, it may even become difficult to take out health insurance.
High body mass index (BMI)
People with a higher BMI have to pay a higher premium than people with a lower BMI. A higher BMI leads to different conditions such as diabetes, joint problems, heart problems, among others.
“Obesity can also be a major factor in your health premiums being higher. Obesity, as we all know, increases the risk of certain medical diseases and, therefore, is associated with a higher mortality rate. Therefore, health insurance companies avoid those consumers who already have a high-risk status,” says Chhabra.
type of job
Many policyholders work in risky and dangerous environments such as a chemical plant or a coal mine. This leads to a high risk of injury and heart health issues. These professionals and workers end up paying higher premiums as insurers see a greater risk to their health and well-being.
Family medical history
In case the policyholder’s family members have certain medical conditions, the premium may be higher than others. “This medical condition could be anything like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, among others. There could also be other genetic diseases,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO of Bankbazaar.com.