Insurance By the Pound
Health insurance premiums are always based on a variety of underlying factors, based on the health of the person that is applying for the insurance. Obesity is one of the many risks that Medical Insurance companies charge higher premiums for. Getting a health care plan always involves a medical assessment, at which point your weight, height, and other health concerns will be addressed. In relation to obesity, insurance companies base their decision off of the BMI, which stands for Body Mass Index. This number ultimately determines how obese or overweight a person is, based on a predetermined index.
Your BMI is calculated for your health care plan based on your height and weight. The exact calculation is your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. The BMI chart is how Medical Insurance companies determine what the appropriate height and weight for someone should be. This will help determine if they are in optimal health or not. The Body Mass Index chart is scale based, with the following divisions:
Less than 18.5- underweight
18.5-24.9- normal weight
35-39.9- very obese
40 or greater- morbidly obese
When your height and weight is calculated to determine your body mass index, you should ideally fall into the normal range, between 18.5 and 24.9 on the BMI scale. If you are higher or lower on the scale, your insurance premiums will be higher than average. The farther you stray from the ideal range, the higher your premiums will be. The different accepted levels of BMI will vary from one health care plan to the next, so you will need to consult with your Medical Insurance company to see what is acceptable by their standards.
Here are some examples of how BMI can change in relation to weight and height:
-A person weighing 102 pounds that is 5’0” tall will have a BMI of 20, which is normal. That same person weighing 204 pounds would have a BMI of 40, which is morbid obesity.
-A person that is 6’0” and weighs 206 pounds will have a BMI of 28, which is technically in the ‘overweight’ range. If their weight is 294, the BMI goes up to 40, which is again morbidly obese.
Many health care plan providers actually will not insure anyone who has a BMI over 39. This is because at this level of obesity, health problems are not only common, but they are expected. Like many other medical conditions, obesity can be considered too high-risk for Medical Insurance companies to cover if it is extreme enough. If you want to get the lowest health premiums possible on your health care plan, you should try to maintain a healthy weight so that you can be at a lower place on the BMI scale. Being healthier will not only get you reduced health insurance premiums, but it will also help you to live a better, longer life.
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