Important Variables That Affect Your Monthly Heath Insurance Costs

By Lisa Olsen Posted in Health Insurance News

When a consumer seeks out private health insurance, he or she will find that monthly out-of-pocket expenses will vary from company to company, though he or she may not know why. Companies use a number of factors to determine what monthly costs for customers will be, as well as how much and what they will cover.

Age And Lifestyle Variables

Insurance premiums are based on how much of a “health risk” an individual poses. In theory, the younger an individual is, the less risk he or she poses to the insurance company. As people age, their health often deteriorates, requiring more care. Individuals over 55 often have to visit specialists for specific problems, such as cardiovascular or hormonal concerns. Specialists cost more money to retain; thus, the insurance company must pay more to these physicians. Lifestyle choices are also a factor. Monthly insurance costs will be higher for individuals who smoke, consume more than 3 alcoholic beverages a week, are obese, or make any other unhealthy lifestyle options.

Preexisting Medical Condition Variables

Insurance companies usually ask about preexisting condition the consumer may have. Sometimes, these conditions can completely prevent the consumer from obtaining insurance. More often than not however, prior medical conditions will not make insurance impossible, just more expensive. Individuals with prior conditions are perceived to already require specialized care, meaning that health insurance claims being filed early are almost a certainty. Conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, spinal abnormalities, a history of cancer, and kidney and liver disease are examples of preexisting medical conditions. Any of these and more can drive up monthly insurance costs.

Occupation Variables

Still another factor that can determine monthly premiums is a person’s occupation status. Individuals that work in positions considered dangerous or risky are, by extension, considered larger “health insurance risks”. Dangerous positions may include flight instructors, police officers and firefighters, and hazardous materials workers.

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