If you’re a smoker, you’re not alone. Recent statistics show that 20% of Americans smoke either cigarettes or cigars. Tobacco use has declined, but is still a fact of life. It is also a factor in the price of an individual health insurance quote.
When you are searching for individual health insurance, the health insurance agent will ask if you smoke. This is because smoking can result in less affordable individual health insurance.
Why is this the case? Smoking, like other conditions (such as obesity), has been associated with chronic conditions and diseases that cost millions of dollars for health insurance providers to treat. Specifically, lung cancer and emphyshema are more common among smokers. Therefore, insurers believe that a smoker is more likely to file expensive claims in the future; higher rates help recover those costs.
In most cases, smoking will not prevent you from buying individual health insurance altogether. Quitting smoking can also lead to your individual health insurance rates going down. Many health insurance plans offer incentives to quit, and may cover stop-smoking aids like the nicotine patch or gum.