scorecardresearchWorld No Tobacco Day 2023: Can smokers buy health insurance?

World No Tobacco Day 2023: Can smokers buy health insurance?

Updated: 31 May 2023, 08:43 AM IST

As opposed to the myth that smokers cannot buy health insurance, the truth is that insurers are willing to sell health plans to both smokers and non-smokers subject to submission of correct details regarding their health conditions.

Are smokers allowed to buy health insurance?

Are smokers allowed to buy health insurance?

The world will observe the annual “World No Tobacco Day” on May 31 this year, and the smokers will as usual continue to look at this day as just another day in their lives. Hardly any of them would consider the idea of getting rid of their smoking habits. Not that smokers turn into nicotine addicts in a day. What starts with the idea to experiment or conforming to peer pressure relents to a sign of dependence or smoking habits, thus, causing health problems in the long run.

“World No Tobacco Day” is observed on May 31 to remind one and all of the futility of reveling in cigarette smoke. Even those used to smokeless tobacco products (chew and snuff) or who enjoy the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes must beware of what tobacco can do to their bodies and minds.

Perhaps, many of them know the possible side effects, and so buy a health insurance policy that will pay for their intermittent hospital and treatment bills. Including a health plan in your investment portfolio is the best decision, especially for smokers, in light of the current medical inflation.

There is a popular myth that health insurance companies refuse plan applications by smokers. No doubt, even these companies like to play safe considering how smokers are more likely to suffer from morbid disorders.

However, this does not mean that they deny health insurance to smokers. Smokers just like their non-smoker peers, can buy health insurance, albeit differently as the premium charges for both are different.

Smokers are forced to pay higher premiums while availing of health insurance. Since these companies are aware of the increased likelihood of smokers being afflicted with lifestyle diseases, they ask smokers to shell out more money as premium charges.

How can smokers buy health insurance?

Now that we have dissipated the myth surrounding smokers not having access to health insurance, we must move on to discuss an important aspect regarding how smokers can buy health insurance.

To start with, many insurance companies would want their insurance applicants to take simple medical tests. This reduces the discrepancies between the details that applicants share and their medical details. Simple tests like the saliva test or the urine test or the test of a single strand of hair are enough to check if the applicant is a regular smoker and the grievousness of his or her smoking habits. It all depends on how long the nicotine stays in your system which helps one to assess smoking habits, age, and general health conditions.

Apart, insurance companies ask the applicants to fill in details on the insurance form like the frequency of their smoking habits and health conditions suffered in the past six months to a year owing to smoking habits.

Though insurance companies dole out insurance policies with higher premium charges for smokers, they are always keen to learn about their lifestyle habits to decide how high they wanted to share.

Should all smokers buy health insurance?

Smoking is more than just a habit. It is the root of all critical disorders that beget medical attention at one point in life. The idea behind buying health insurance is to be prepared for untoward health conditions like respiratory disorders, hypertension, heart diseases, lung problems, cancer, etc.

Also, the chances of smokers suffering from pre-existing illnesses are high, thus, highlighting the need to buy health insurance. Though there is a waiting period involved, young policyholders can avail of health insurance benefits after it is over, thus, enhancing the scope for regular and timely treatment when needed.

Do plans for smokers and non-smokers differ?

The answer is “No”. The plans are the same and so are their benefits. The difference lies in the premium charges. Smokers tend to complain about loaded premiums, which is understood considering their high-risk profile.

However, smokers must ensure that they submit the correct details to ensure seamless claim settlement. There are many health insurance companies out there willing to sell you insurance. All you must do is select the right plan that suits you best.


85% of the respondents would consider cutting down on some luxury items so that they could spend more on health insurance
First Published: 31 May 2023, 08:43 AM IST