We all know that smoking is bad for our health and yet for many, quitting cigarettes is hard. As a regular smoker, you should not make any delay in getting health insurance. Remember that being a smoker, you are at a higher risk of facing health complications as compared to non-smokers. A single illness and its ensuing hospitalisation costs can make a huge dent in your savings. Therefore, it is advisable to buy adequate medical insurance coverage immediately.

Now, it is a common misconception that smokers cannot get health insurance. This misconception perhaps stands in the way of many people getting the coverage they need. While it is true that you may end up paying a higher premium as a smoker, you have a right to health insurance just like anyone else. To that effect, this article takes you through what you need to know about availing health insurance as a smoker.

How do I buy health insurance as a smoker?

Technically, there is no major difference in the process of buying health insurance for a smoker. All you need to do is log on to the insurance company’s website to buy your coverage online or, contact an agent. Now, you may be asked a few questions on your smoking habits. This can help the insurer evaluate your health risks during your application.

Some insurers may even ask insurance applicants to get a routine health test done if they are smokers. If these medical tests reveal any underlying health issues, these conditions will be excluded from coverage for a pre-defined waiting period. Most insurance providers keep a waiting period of anywhere between 2 to 4 years for pre-existing illnesses. Upon completion of this waiting period, these pre-existing illnesses too get covered.

Will my premiums always be higher as a smoker?

The answer to this question really varies between health insurance providers.Some insurers do charge a higher premium to policyholders who declare themselves as regular smokers. However, there are many insurance companies who do not differentiate and charge the exact same premium for smokers and non-smokers. They may only increase the premium cost if the smoker has crossed a certain age.

Can I hide my smoking habit from the insurer?

The answer to this is NO. If the insurance company asks you to undergo medical tests, these tests can reveal nicotine levels in your blood and urine. Even if your insurance company does not require medical tests to be done at the time of purchasing a policy, it is still advisable that you honestly inform them that you smoke. Else, if you fall ill from a smoking-related complication, your health insurance claim might get impacted since you withheld information when buying coverage. It is best to be honest and upfront while buying health insurance so that you face no trouble at the time of filing a claim.

Do remember that the consumption of tobacco is harmful for your health. Try to quit the habit as soon as you can. Take care.


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