They say that prevention is the best medicine and nowhere is this truer than in the health insurance industry. Not only is getting healthy a good idea for general well-being, it also makes it easier to get affordable health insurance. Health insurance companies can charge higher premium when they take into account several concerning health factors. If they feel that someone will file a lot of claims due to a health condition, private companies can deny coverage and group health insurance plans might charge higher premiums for everyone within the group.
Weighing in on a Heavy Topic
There are numerous studies that show that anyone who is overweight or obese is at higher risk for many potential health complications. According to the Center for Disease Control, anyone who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 30 is considered overweight and anything over 30 is obese. Being overweight can cause heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and breathing problems; worse, more than two out of every three adults are at risk. If weight is a problem, consider a diet and exercise program to shed those unwanted pounds and get more affordable health insurance.
An Insurance Smoke Screen
Not only can smoking affect the pocket book with the steep cost of a pack of cigarettes, it can also increase insurance premiums. Cancer, emphysema, and strokes can all be caused by smoking, and care for these problems have cost health insurance companies over $75.5 billion. To offset this cost, they charge smokers insurance premiums of up to 10 percent more. Most employers and insurance providers offer programs that help smokers quit, since quitting will not only improve health, it will also benefit finances.
Drinking the Problem Away
While having the occasional alcoholic beverage is normal, heavy drinking causes higher mortality and morbidity. As a result, insurance companies will look at alcohol consumption when considering a health insurance policy. Even a history of misuse may be enough to raise premium rates, depending on how long ago the problem was. They may look at what type of treatment was given to cure the problem and if there is any ongoing support, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Poor Prior Planning
Medical underwriting prevents some people from getting insurance after the company discovers that there is a health problem. When the issue existed prior to enrolling in a new health plan, it is known as a preexisting condition. This can include pregnancy, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and much more. Once there is a preexisting condition, it may be too late to get affordable health insurance or there may be an exclusion period applied. Consumers should be proactive and purchase insurance while still healthy, so they can get better rates.
Getting healthy not only makes people look and feel great, it is a financially sound decision as well. There are several programs available to get consumers on the path to good health and keep them motivated; for example, joining a gym or consulting a doctor to find the plan that fits their goals and needs. In addition, no one should wait to purchase a plan if they are already in good health. By ditching weight, cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, health insurance companies have a lower financial risk and will provide better rates to these policyholders.
Don’t just sit back and expect to get good rates on car insurance. Use the free tool that is offered at the top of this page and find yourself some affordable individual health insurance plans.