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lifestyle factors that affect health insurance premiums

by Sonal Shukla

In India, the importance of health insurance plans has increased, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we cannot predict health illness beforehand, obtaining a health insurance plan acts as a safeguard against unexpected medical expenses. However, to access benefits from this plan, you need to pay health insurance premiums.

There are various lifestyle factors that affect health insurance premiums that an individual has to pay. In this blog, you will learn the various factors that can negatively affect your health insurance premium and other crucial details related to it.

6 Important Factors Affecting Your Health Insurance Premiums

If you are thinking to buy health insurance, you must know about the following aspects that can affect the insurance premiums.

1. Obesity

According to reports, more than half of the global population will likely experience obesity in the future. It is a concerning issue and needs immediate attention. Obesity is linked to various health problems like coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and bone issues, increasing the risk of illness and hospital stays.

Various health insurance plans consider the Body Mass Index (BMI) parameter to calculate the premium amount. A BMI over 35-38 could significantly raise premiums. Furthermore, high obesity might even result in health plan rejection under certain circumstances. Therefore, with regular exercise and medical assistance, one can maintain a healthy weight

2. Family Medical History

Insurance providers go beyond one’s medical history and consider their family’s health records. This thorough assessment helps insurers determine if there is a genetic tendency toward severe illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, COPD, and more. By reviewing the family’s medical history, insurers can identify potential hereditary risks and adjust life insurance premiums accordingly.

If the review shows a genetic inclination towards significant health issues, the insurance premium can increase, reflecting the higher chance of future medical claims linked to inherited conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to understand and disclose your health background and your family’s when applying for insurance coverage.

3. Smoking

It is one of the major unhealthy practices that not only harms health but also dramatically affects both medical insurance costs and overall health. This habit raises the chances of heart and lung diseases, ultimately shortening lifespan.

Various data shows a clear link between smoking and lung cancer. Insured individuals who smoke regularly pay higher premiums due to the increased risk. The length of time since quitting smoking may differ among insurance companies, but typically, those who have smoked within the last year face higher premiums.

4. Profession

You may not find any direct link between a job and health insurance premiums. However, if you consider how your job can affect your health or the risks you face, the connection becomes clearer.

For instance, those working in IT firms, banks, or retail stores are considered standard risks and pay a standard premium. Conversely, individuals in professions exposed to harmful chemicals, heavy machinery, or injury risks may face higher premiums. Their likelihood of filing claims is higher, leading to increased premiums.

5. Pre-existing Medical Condition

People with pre-existing diseases might face higher insurance premiums when buying a health plan. Hence, buying health insurance as soon as possible is advisable since you are more likely to secure a plan with lower and more affordable premiums. Also, you can read more about pre-existing diseases in health insurance to learn more about the list of diseases that are considered PED.

With age, people are prone to develop common diseases like diabetes and hypertension, leading to higher health insurance costs. However, the extent of premium increases can vary among insurance providers, and some may not charge extra for pre-existing conditions.

6. Alcohol Consumption

Regular consumption of alcohol is another common unhealthy practice that can negatively impact insurance premiums. Cancer is one such common effect of alcohol consumption. Alcohol not only affects the liver but also raises the chances of various heart diseases.

People who drink regularly may also experience health issues, resulting in higher health insurance premiums. The extent of the premium increase may differ among insurers.

Top Tips to Improve Your Lifestyle and Tackle Insurance Premiums Better

Manage Stress

Poorly handling stress can worsen health problems and increase healthcare usage, impacting premiums over time. Therefore, engaging in stress-relieving activities like meditation or yoga can improve health and potentially lower costs.

Avoid Inactivity to Curb Heart Issues

A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of various health problems, especially your heart. Thus, one of the main tips to keep your heart healthy is regular exercise. It promotes overall well-being and can help mitigate future heart health risks.

Poor Sleep Habits

Consistently not getting enough sleep is linked to various health issues, potentially impacting insurance premiums over time. Prioritising healthy sleep practices contributes to overall well-being and may lower healthcare costs.

Avoid Unhealthy Diet

Consuming processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats can lead to chronic diseases, affecting premiums in the long term. Hence, choosing a balanced, nutritious diet supports long-term health and may indirectly reduce insurance costs.

Consume Adequate Water

You need to drink an adequate amount of water daily to maintain proper hydration, flush out toxins, and support overall bodily functions.

In this blog, you have explored the important lifestyle factors that affect your health insurance premium. By understanding and addressing these factors, you can make informed decisions to potentially lower your insurance costs while prioritising your overall health and well-being.



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