Mark Twain said “It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.”
Anyone who smokes probably knows they should quit. Most of those reasons to quit are centered on health. Heart attacks, strokes, cancer, PAD, just for starters. Medical Insurance carriers will issue Medical Insurance to smokers but you will pay about 25% more than a non-smoker. Medical Insurance will not be issued to you with most Medical Insurance carriers if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and are overweight. Many Medical Insurance providers will not issue you a policy if you smoke, and have high blood pressure and high cholesterol no matter what your weight.
Smoking is an addictive habit. Wikipedia defines addiction as a “physical and psychological dependence on a psychoactive substance (for example alcohol, tobacco, heroin, caffeine and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.” Most Medicare Advantage plans, which are Medical Insurance policies for seniors, offer smoking cessation classes along with the Medical Insurance plan itself.
There are a million and one reason to quit smoking and those reasons can be found everywhere. However, if you smoke, did you ever think that instead of dying quickly from a massive heart attack or stroke, that instead you could die slowly in piec es? Modern medicine has many, many ways to keep you alive. That’s one of the reasons that medical insurance is more expensive for smokers. A quick death would not be so expensive. It’s the long, slow deaths with all kinds of medical procedures that worry medical insurance providers. Not to sound insensitive but here are some illnesses and procedures that are done to save and prolong the lives of smokers:
- There is a new stent in town by Johnson and Johnson called Cypher. It keeps clogged heart arteries propped open by emitting a drug. It’s also about three times as expensive as the old stents coming in around $3000 per stent. Most people need more than one stent. While having the stent put in there is always the chance that the patient will develop a bed sore. Those get treated at wound centers and some may take as long as three years to heal. Not only are the sores painful, you must see the doctor at the wound center at least once a week.
- Let’s say you need a pacemaker. Medical Insurance carriers will pay around $20,000 for one of those babies. Patients need pacemakers because the heart cannot keep up with the body’s need for oxygen-rich blood. This is how Harvard Health Publications describe why a patient needs a pacemaker, “The heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs strive valiantly to compensate. Eventually, though, they can’t and the tissues’ demand for oxygen begins to exceed the supply.” So, if you smoke, modern medicine can fix you up. It’s just that once the breakdown it the body begins, it just keeps going and so do you. To doctors, physical therapy, labs, more doctors, hospitals and on and on. It’s something to think about.