Use of Tobacco Greatly Increases Health Insurance Premiums
If the health risks associated with the use of tobacco are not enough to get a person to consider stopping, perhaps the monetary penalties will tip the scale. Not only does a tobacco consumer (cigarettes, cigars, pipe, chew, dip, etc.) have to pay for the cost of the product and all the punitive taxes attached to it, but their premiums are significantly “rated-up” when they apply for health insurance.
Because the actuaries that work for health insurance companies well understand that tobacco users are much more likely to require expensive medical treatments than non-users, smokers/chewers are charged more for coverage. Typically a 25 year old tobacco user pays 20% more and at 50 it can be 30% or higher.
In order to qualify as a non-tobacco user you must have gone the previous 12 months without its use. You will also want to be truthful about tobacco use on a health insurance application, because if you are not, your policy may be cancelled just when you need it.
If you are presently insured with a plan that rates you as tobacco user, you can request that this be changed once you have abstained from its use for a minimum of 12 months. You will probably be asked to submit a blood test to prove you have no nicotine in your system.
So, the choice is quit or pay up.
If you’d like to know more about this, please give me a call at 303-541-9533.
- Published in Individual Health Insurance, Underwriting