Lose Weight to Save On Insurance
If you are already finding it hard to keep your New Year’s promise to lose weight this year, maybe this will inspire you.
Your weight affects how much you’ll pay for health and life insurance. Insurance companies look at your body mass index (BMI) — your height-to-weight ratio — to determine your overall health and how much you should pay for coverage. And, while losing weight will help you get lower premiums, there’s more to lowering your insurance rates than just losing weight.
Don’t put off buying insurance until you lose weight. Here’s why:
- Life insurance: Even if you have to pay slightly higher premiums, get coverage now so you don’t leave your loved ones without financial protection if you die unexpectedly.
- Health insurance: A good policy often helps keep medical bill costs from getting out of control should you need treatment.
Submit an application
Once you’ve lost the weight submit an application to have the amount of premium you currently pay reconsidered. Work with an independent insurance broker to help you find the most affordable policy.
The application process determines your risk of mortality and includes an interview, medical exam and a review of your BMI. The cost of life insurance is based on the likelihood you'll pass away during the time the policy is in effect. Therefore, if you’re young and healthy, you’ll pay less than someone who has serious medical problems.
Health insurance companies also charge overweight and obese people more to compensate for higher costs. "USA Today" reported that it costs about $1,400 more annually to treat an average obese patient than a person at a healthy weight. For instance, if your body mass index is more than 30, you probably will pay much as 25 percent more for health insurance, and if your BMI is more than 39, you probably will pay 50 percent more. This is how losing weight can help you substantially on premiums.
Show That You’re Healthy
An insurer is interested in knowing if you lost the weight in a healthy way. If you lost ten pounds or more due to an illness, depression or because you are elderly, the insurer may decline or postpone your application.
To determine just how healthy you are, you may be asked to undergo a medical exam or allow them to review your medical records.
Show That You Can Keep It Off
An insurer also wants to know when you lost weight and whether you can keep it off. You should wait a year or more before applying for reconsideration or for requesting a new policy. If you lose weight less than a year before applying for a policy, insurers will only count 50 percent of the weight you lost. For instance, if you weighed 300 pounds and lost 100 pounds in just a few months, you’ll be rated as someone who weighs 250 pounds rather than 200.
The same guidelines apply if you have a procedure like gastric bypass surgery. Due to the health risks associated with gastric bypass, you will be declined coverage for the first six to 12 months. Even a few years after the procedure, you may still receive a less favorable classification than someone who lost weight without surgery.
Call us and let us help you with the process.
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In this issue:
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Lose Weight to Save On Insurance
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