Must-know Facts Before Choosing Health Insurance for Smokers


Must-know Facts Before Choosing Health Insurance for Smokers

Did you know? As per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, smoking takes around 10 lakh lives every year! 

While the government takes necessary steps to motivate the youth to quit tobacco consumption, the bad news is that peer pressure, lifestyle, and perceived temporary benefits have led the way for the youth to smoke! As a result, people have to bear the harmful health effects of smoking on the body. 

As the well-wishers of your health and finances, we urge you to make lifestyle changes and seek expert consultation to quit smoking. We also urge you to opt for “health insurance for smokers” to cover the specified medical treatments in times of emergency.

This blog will shed some light on a smoker’s health insurance and things to keep in mind while purchasing health insurance for smokers. We will also try to cover the most common questions that may come to your mind while purchasing health insurance for smokers. Starting from the start, let us understand health insurance for smokers.

What is Health Insurance for Smokers?

70% of lung cancer cases are caused due to excessive smoking. Additionally, smokers are at a higher risk of respiratory and cardiac diseases. On top of that, smokers are generally under the misconception that they can not get health insurance coverage because of their habit. However, this is not true, as certain health insurers may offer health coverage for smokers for health emergencies arising under specified conditions. 

Albeit, general health insurance and health insurance for smokers offer similar coverage, the difference between them lies in the approval of policy purchase and the premium paid.

Given the underlying fact that smoking can be the leading cause of several critical illnesses and respiratory diseases, the risk for companies to pay heavy bills now and then increases. Thus, based on the frequency of your smoking habit, insurers may offer health insurance at a higher premium, whereas some may deny the policy purchase request altogether.

Keep reading further to note a few things you should remember while purchasing health insurance for smokers.

Things to Keep in Mind While Purchasing Health Insurance for Smokers

Whether you are an occasional smoker or someone who’s trying to quit smoking, today is the right time to purchase health insurance so that you can also combat the waiting period by the time you quit smoking.

Mentioned below are a few things that you should keep in mind when buying health insurance for a smoker:

  1. Always disclose your current health conditions and your current smoking habits. If you do not disclose your smoking habits at the time of policy purchase, you may not get claims related to health conditions arising out of this habit.
  2. Depending on your pre-existing health conditions and your nicotine consumption, your insurer may ask you to undergo specific medical checkups to get details about your current health status. And thus, it may define your health insurance premium.
  3. Your premium for health insurance for smokers may be higher based on your smoking or nicotine consumption habits. 
  4. Always compare the best health insurance for smokers to check the coverage offered, exclusions and premiums charged. 
  5. Suppose you are already covered in a group medical insurance by your insurer; opting for a cancer mediclaim or critical illness insurance can help you stay covered for critical illnesses that may arise as a side effect of smoking. 
  6. Try to understand the details of your health insurance with the help of your agent. Remember how the waiting periods, coverage, exclusions and other benefits will work in your case. 

Keep reading further to get answers to the most frequently asked questions when purchasing health insurance for Smokers.

Smoker’s Health Insurance: Commonly Asked Questions

Health insurance for smokers is quite similar to a regular health insurance plan. Several health insurers offer health coverage to people who smoke at an extra premium. 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. 

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, even as a smoker, 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 given the higher medical risks you may pose. 

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.

How is a 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.

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. 

Why is Health Insurance Premium for a 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.

What diseases are covered by health insurance for Smokers?

There is no denying that smoking is a deadly pursuit. While smoking is the trend nowadays, it makes you and the ones saround you 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.

How do Health Insurer Companies Detect if You Smoke?

Your insurer may rely on medical screenings to identify whether you smoke or not. Remember, your insurer is not liable to pay for any medical emergency arising due to smoking if you have not pre-informed about your lifestyle habits. 

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. 

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

When buying a health insurance policy, prevent hiding any information about your health and habits from your insurer. In order to save a few bucks today, you may put your health insurance 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 may lead to claim rejection. Your entire policy may also get 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. 

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

You may still be eligible to opt for health insurance, even if you are a smoker with pre-existing health problems. However, you may have to pay a higher premium and may have to serve an additional waiting period for the risk factors 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.

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 the benefits of a health insurance:

  • Immediate cashless hospitalisation during a medical emergency
  • Coverage for pre and post-hospitalisation expenses
  • Annual health check-ups
  • Pre-existing diseases cover
  • Ambulances expenses cover
  • Comprehensive coverage for smokers 
  • Coverage for day-care procedures
  • E-consultations, etc.


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. Additionally, if you need more coverage, 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. 

>> Also Read: 10 Ways You can Quit Smoking Effortlessly

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.


View Our Editorial Policy


+91 verified
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter a valid Full Name
I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions
Please select terms and conditions
Get updates on WhatsApp

Articles By Category

Health Insurance Articles
Family Family
Senior Citizens Senior Citizens
Maternity Maternity
Surgery Surgery
Heart Heart
Tax & Investments Tax & Investments
Lifestyle Lifestyle
Awareness Days Awareness Days
Child Care Child Care
Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips
Festive Days Festive Days
Covid-19 Covid-19
Travel Insurance Articles
International International
Student Student
Travel Tips Travel Tips
Visa Visa
Passport Passport
Insurance Guide
Health Health
Travel Travel

Secure Your Finances Now!

Get the best financial security with Care Health Insurance!


Reach for us at




whatApp Icon8860402452

Live Chat