Health Insurance Discounts

Private health insurance will provide for you in the event of illness. However, by maintaining a good standard of health you can help to keep your private medical insurance costs down. This is firstly because private health insurance quotes will be higher if you are a smoker or if you are obese.

Secondly, many private health insurance companies offer discounts off your insurance premiums if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The company will stipulate what you have to do to earn the discount and this may involve joining a gym or giving up smoking, for example.

The third reason is that lots of insurance companies also give No Claims Discount, which will be reduced if you have to make a claim under your private health insurance policy. By looking after yourself, you will help yourself to stay healthy and should therefore cut down on the number of claims that you have to make.

Here we will detail the three biggest threats to your health, how they can affect you and what you can do about them.

Smoking

Smoking causes a number of illnesses including cancer in many parts of the body, and leukaemia. It also exacerbates other conditions such as asthma, COPD, heart disease and osteoporosis, and is a contributory factor in strokes.

The reason why smoking contributes to strokes and heart disease is because it destroys the blood vessels. This also has the effect of limiting the amount of oxygen being pumped around the body and is why it affects asthma and COPD. Smoking can also affect your sex life, your fertility and the health of your unborn baby.

However, although certain damage is irreversible, by stopping smoking you can improve your health considerably. In fact, if you give up smoking, within a year your chances of having a heart attack are reduced by 50%.

It is difficult to give up smoking as it is an addictive drug so you are bound to go through withdrawal symptoms, but Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help. This is available in various formats including patches, gum and inhalators, and it reduces the withdrawal symptoms associated with giving up smoking. NRT is widely available but it is best to consult your doctor before taking it as it can have side effects.

Obesity

Obesity is also a tremendous threat to your health as it can cause heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. Professionals use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether or not you are overweight. This measures your weight in relation to your height, and people with a high BMI are at increased risk of health problems.

To calculate your BMI you need to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared, or alternatively use one of the many BMI calculators that are available on the Internet. If your BMI is more than 30 you are considered obese.

To maintain a healthy weight you need to reduce your calorie intake and take regular exercise. Your doctor can give you advice regarding this and may refer you to a dietician.

Alcohol

Alcohol is also a health hazard because it is full of what are termed ‘empty calories’. This is because the calories contained in alcohol have no nutritional value in them whatsoever. Therefore regular drinking will cause you to gain weight so that you will be at risk of the health problems associated with obesity.

In addition to that alcohol poses its own set of health risks, which include inflammation of the stomach or pancreas, cirrhosis of the liver, raised blood pressure, certain types of cancer and mental health problems.

The recommended maximum limits for alcohol consumption are between two and three units a day for women, and between three and four units a day for men. It is vital that you cut down on your drinking if you are drinking regular excessive amounts. Your doctor can give you advice on cutting down alcohol and may be able to refer you for specialist help.

Further Information

It is worthwhile bearing in mind that there are certain medical conditions that are excluded from private health insurance plans, and these are stipulated by the individual medical insurance companies. To find out more about private health insurance and receive a free private health insurance quote, please use our easy to complete online form to give us a few details of your requirements. We will then get back to you.

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