In the past year, the COVID pandemic has compelled a majority of the adult population to rethink its stance on the importance of health insurance. Insurance providers have reported a compelling rise in the demand for inclusive and diverse health insurance plans across the country.
Considering this rise, it is recommended to be aware of what goes into a good health insurance plan, and what factors can play in your favor to get lower premiums.
What goes into the underwriting of these plans?
What factors can play a major role in affecting insurance premiums? Let’s find out.
1. Gender and Age
While gender and age might not come off as a surprise factor in health insurance plans, they significantly impact the premiums.
The general belief is that you pay higher premiums the older you get.
This is primarily because the chances of you falling ill rise as you age, and this is considered a “high-risk” by the insurance providers.
Many insurance providers also let gender play a role in dictating the premiums. Normally, men pay slightly higher premiums for health insurance plans compared to women.
This can be due to certain factors like men working in high-risk jobs like construction.
Additionally, women are more likely to visit doctors more often than men, making their premiums a bit more affordable than men.
2. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
To buy a health insurance plan, you must get a full physical checkup to prove to the insurance provider that you don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions and are healthy.
However, if you do have one or multiple pre-existing conditions, the insurance provider will most likely increase the premiums on the insurance policy due to your case being comparatively high-risk than that of a healthy person.
3. Medical History of the Family
While individual medical history significantly affects the health insurance premiums, many insurance providers may request reports of the family’s medical history.
This is to assess whether any chronic genetic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure might be a possibility for the policyholder.
Insurers consider family medical history because the policyholder might be prone to hospitalization based on the family’s history with chronic illnesses or conditions.
While the increase in premiums because of this reason might not be too much, you should still be aware of this factor.
4. Body Mass Index (BMI)
The insurance providers also assess your BMI while deciding the premiums.
People who have a higher BMI and fall under the “overweight” or “obese” categories pay a significantly higher premium than the ones who fall under the “healthy” category.
This is primarily because overweight and obese people are more prone to developing heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Moreover, people falling under these categories might also need specialized treatments for certain cases like pregnancy, making simple procedures more difficult and resource-consuming for medical professionals.
The region of the country you live in also plays a major role in determining the health insurance premiums.
Many of the health insurance plans are specifically underwritten based on the geography of the policyholders.
A simple explanation for this would be that metro cities or Tier-1 cities have a higher cost of treatment when compared to smaller cities.
However, there’s more that plays into this factor.
The lifestyles of the population in tier-1 cities are considered more palpable, making them vulnerable to various health issues.
For instance, big cities like Delhi have a much higher pollution rate than small cities. This would make any individual living in Delhi more susceptible to respiratory problems.
6. Consumption of Harmful Substances
Insurance providers take into consideration if you are a consumer of harmful substances like alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, etc.
If you are a regular drinker or smoker, some providers might even refuse to offer you a health insurance plan.
The others will increase the premium rates based on their risk assessment of your health reports.
Time to Get Your Health Insurance Plan
You are now equipped with knowledge about the major factors that can affect health insurance premiums.
It is time to put this information to good use and assess which health insurance plans fit your needs the best.