Health Insurance for Smoker


Health Insurance for Smoker

Thousands of ads and campaigns are run all around the world to spread awareness about the ill effects of smoking. Doctors suggest that when a person smokes, it affects every part of his/ her body. As per the reports of the NHS, 70% of lung cancer cases are because of smoking. As per WHO, in India alone, nearly 1.35 million people die of tobacco use. Sadly, a number of tobacco products are easily available at a very minimal cost, provoking the usage. 

While you may know the ill effects of this deadly habit, do you know about smokers’ health insurance? Do you wonder, “can smokers get health insurance?” So, if you smoke or someone in the family smokes, it is important to understand how it can affect your insurance. While having a health insurance policy is important for everyone, having the right coverage becomes all the more important when you smoke, be it actively or passively. Let us delve a little deeper. 

Smoking and the Role of Health Insurance

Smoker or non-smoker, you must have heard or read this warning endless times saying “Smoking is injurious to health”. This written warning is mentioned on each and every packet of cigarettes, along with the scary images of tumours hanging out of the skin. Despite this, millions of people smoke, and they all have their own reasons for smoking. Some say they smoke to curtail the work stress, some are habitual, some do it because they enjoy it, etc. 

Despite knowing the fact that smoking can cause cancer and other critical illnesses, smokers are not ready to quit. If you or your loved ones cannot kick the butt, the next best thing to do is to invest in a health insurance policy. To know what smokers health insurance is, how it works and how it can be helpful, keep reading:

Smoker’s Health Insurance: Commonly Asked Questions 

Health insurance for smokers is quite similar to a regular health insurance plan. A number of health insurance providers offer health coverage to people who smoke but with an extra cost. Because smoking is an injurious habit, the coverage that one receives can be different from insurer to insurer. The kind of smoker that you are may also determine the kind of coverage that you may be eligible for. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about smokers’ health insurance. 

1. Does Health Insurance Offer Coverage to Smokers?

It is a common myth amongst smokers and their families that they are not eligible for health insurance. In fact, being a smoker does not make you ineligible for buying health insurance. You can enjoy almost the same coverage that others do. However, you need to keep in mind that buying insurance for smokers is comparatively more expensive. But do not let the extra payment deter you from buying health insurance. The benefits that you get from your insurance coverage will be worth it. 

Note: You may get smoker's health insurance if you smoke around 10 cigarettes in a day. However, for people smoking 2 to 4 packets in a day, the insurance company may reject your application altogether.

2. How is Smoker Defined under Health Insurance?

Smoker refers to a person who is consuming nicotine in any form, such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes or vape, cigars, tobacco, patches, and gum. 

3. What is Health Insurance for Smokers?

Health insurance for smokers is meant for the people with the habit of smoking. However, the kind of coverage offered may differ from plan to plan, depending on the current medical condition of the smoker. 

4. Why is Health Insurance Premium for the Smoker Higher?

The health insurance premium for smokers is higher than for non-smokers.  The reason is that they have higher health risks and shorter life expectancy. However, the premium is not at a flat rate, and it depends on a number of factors, just like regular health insurance. The premium is proportionate to the habit and health condition or pre-existing disease of the smoker, thus varying from person to person.

5. What are the Diseases Covered under Health Insurance?

There is no denying that smoking is a deadly pursuit. You may feel it makes you look smarter and stylish, but that is just a misconception. As compared to non-smokers, smokers are more prone to a number of diseases, such as:

  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Respiratory complications
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Lung diseases, etc. 

It is very visible that smoking leads to multiple health complications. While these diseases may be covered under health insurance, approval of the claim is subject to the insurance company’s terms and conditions.

6. How do Health Insurer Companies Detect if You Smoke? 

If you are thinking about how health insurance companies know if you smoke, you should know that in most cases they rely medical screening to identify the smoker’s category and also estimate the coverage premium accordingly

Keep in mind that your insurer has the right to know your smoking frequency. They may ask you about the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day, how long have you been smoking etc. Again,it is quite easy to detect traces of nicotine in one’s urine, blood and saliva.

7. Why it is Necessary to Disclose all the Information while Buying Health Insurance?

When buying a health insurance policy, always resist the temptation to hide any information from the insurance provider. In order to save a few bucks today, you are putting the policy in jeopardy. 

The best way to get your claim without the fear of rejection is to disclose all your information. As a smoker, you should not hide any important information during a medical examination. So whether you smoke one cigarette a day or ten, your insurer has the right to know. Any misinformation or discrepancy can get you in trouble later. Your claim can be rejected on the grounds of false or misrepresentation of information. 

Note: In case you did not smoke when you bought the policy, but have started smoking now, it is your responsibility to update the insurance company about this change in lifestyle. 

8. Can Smokers with Pre-existing Health Diseases Get Health Insurance?

If you are a smoker with pre-existing health problems, then also you are eligible to buy health insurance. However, you have to pay a bit higher premium, and the waiting period is also high because of the risk factor associated with smoking.

Your health insurance provider may suggest some pre-policy screening. Do not worry if they do. In most cases, a pre-policy medical test works in the favour of the customer. Your chances of claim rejection are lower when you buy a policy after a medical test. Another benefit is that in case of any hidden ailment, you will be able to know about it and get the right treatment.

>> Also Read: Healthy Diet Tips for Healthy Lungs

9. How Health Insurance is Helpful for Smokers?

Health insurance comes to your rescue during a medical emergency. It not only helps you to avail yourself of the best health care but also covers all the medical expenses. So whether you smoke or you don’t, having health insurance is crucial for everyone. 

Read below how health insurance is helpful:

  • Immediate cashless hospitalisation during a medical emergency
  • Coverage for pre and post-hospitalisation expenses
  • Hassle-free claim settlement
  • Annual health check-ups
  • Pre-existing diseases cover
  • Ambulances expenses cover
  • Comprehensive coverage for smokers 
  • Coverage for day-care procedures


Coming to the question, “Can smokers get health insurance?” You now know that they can. Your insurer will consider how many cigarettes you have in a day, how long you have had this habit, your age, your overall health condition, etc. before deciding the premium for smokers’ health insurance.. 

As a smoker, you can avail of a health insurance policy after considering the above-mentioned factors. Moreover, if you need more coverage, you can also consider a Critical Illness Plan offered by Care Health Insurance. It helps you to get the best possible treatment without financial burden in an emergency that can arise due to smoking. You can leave your comments or query here and our experts will get in touch with.

With that, we hope you can kick the butt. 

Disclaimer: Underwriting of claims is subject to policy terms and conditions.

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