When it comes to purchasing a health insurance or mediclaim policy, you may be baffled at the array of similar options available. Each health insurance company has its actuarial terms to determine the prices and classes of risks. Insurance underwriters consider your current health state and calculate your insurance premium accordingly. As expected, higher risk applicants have higher premiums. If an applicant smokes or suffers from diabetes, bowel problems, high blood pressure, depression or anxiety, he/she may have to pay more for cover.
While opting for such insurance cover can be costly, not having the right coverage in place can expose an individual to a substantial risk. Here is the list of factors that cause fluctuation in premium prices:
Age Factor: An applicant's age can have an impact on the price of coverage as younger people comparatively have minor health issues such as common cold, viral flu or seasonal infections. As a person ages, the likelihood of needing critical care or being diagnosed with a chronic ailment increases. This has a direct impact on the premiums.
Tobacco Usage: Considering that tobacco has been a cause of the number of fatal diseases including cancer, its degree of usage can significantly change the cost of health insurance. Knowing that smoking and subsequent cancer will potentially decrease the lifespan of a person, insurance premiums will rise. Therefore, many companies provide an incentive to help the insured quit smoking.
Your BMI: To qualify for health insurance, the claimant should be in reasonable health. People needing coverage with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) will have to pay higher premiums against those with an average BMI. There are certain service providers that don't insure an obese person as they consider it an insurable risk.
Pre-existing health issues: Keeping in mind that pre-existing conditions mean more visits to a practitioner and greater risks for the insurance company to cover up claims to the pre-existing condition, the premiums are increased. That is a reason why some mediclaim companies only cover certain aspects of the pre-existing condition.
Family History: If your parents or siblings have suffered a serious medical condition, there is, unfortunately, a greater chance that you will fall victim too. If a close member of the family has had any serious condition, the insurer could add to your premiums.
Other factors: Other risks that the insurance companies take into account when determining premiums for an individual are applicant's profession, marital status, and residential location (for a more polluted metropolitan area the premium may rise). For obvious reasons, a sportsperson will be a much higher risk than an office attendant.
Don't run the risk of hiding the truth
When an applicant applies for health insurance, he/she is asked to complete a questionnaire. In some cases, you may be asked to take a medical examination before the health insurance policy is issued. Don't be tempted to ignore any medical problems in the hope of getting a cheaper premium. If any of the hidden medical conditions emerges after your hospitalisation, it will be considered the breach of your policy conditions and the medical cover for the same may be refused.
How does it work?
The impact of any medical tribulations on your policy premiums depends on the illness. If you have suffered cancer, you will need to be clear of symptoms for at least five years. If you have Type I Diabetes, you could pay up to three times as much for the cover. As far as family history is concerned, then factors such as how many family members were affected, and how old they were at the time would determine the monthly premium.
How to control the rising premium
The average health insurance payments fluctuate once a year. There are ways you can control the rising premium if you are a few months away from renewing your mediclaim policy. Eliminate tobacco use, exercise regularly and eat right for a healthy body mass index. Own a fitness tracker to monitor everything from steps to breathing to heart rate. Insurers decide premiums based on aggregate profiles. Wearable devices could help create more insightful profiles as their sensors pick up details like heart rate and stress levels. Temperature and blood-glucose monitoring would be a crucial data point for insurers since diet has a far greater impact on health than activity.
Nowadays, various insurers offer wellness points to those policyholders who adopt a healthy lifestyle. It means if you resort to healthy habits like yoga, hitting the gym, etc.; the insurer may reward you with wellness points which you can use to enjoy those benefits which are usually not covered under a health insurance policy, like diagnostic coverage, dental consultation, etc.
By staying healthy, you can enjoy cheaper premium rates. So go healthy and enjoy the comprehensive benefits of a health insurance policy.
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