Does Age Affect Health Insurance Premiums in Dubai?

By Laxita Gautam
  | Published: 14 July 2021

Don’t gamble with your health, get the right cover at the right price.

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Amid the long list of inclusions, exclusions, riders and whatnots, it can be often hard to keep up with every detail of your health insurance plan. Not to mention, there are several terms, conditions and what-ifs included in the list as well. Between all this and several other things that one needs to do every day, obtaining a complete understanding of how health insurance premiums are calculated can be even more aggravating. Health insurance premiums have more layers, conditions and factors than what seems to be the case at first glance. Age is just one of these factors – albeit big. Almost every health insurance plan available out there in the UAE reflects a few or more effects of old age in their premiums. Let us find out more about how the age factor affects health insurance premiums and why.

Does Age Affect Health Insurance Premiums?

In a nutshell, yes, age affects the health insurance premium. To know why and how one must understand what premium is. Premium is simply the amount charged by the insurance company in return for taking on the risk that you as a person has. This risk is mainly the risk of handling financial matters if and when you fall ill and make a claim. So, the more prone to falling ill you are, the higher is the risk for the insurance company and hence the higher is the premium. This is why smokers pay more premiums than non-smokers.

The same is the thing with age. While your young years do not promise perfect health, your immunity is still at its strongest in your younger years. Incidentally, younger policyholders with exceptional health and healthy lifestyle get to pay a lot lesser premium than other. So, yes, there are several ways in which your age can affect the premium amount of your health insurance.

Will Old Age Increase the Premium?

Yes, old age will increase the premium of your insurance significantly. The older you are, the more susceptible you are to catching communicable diseases like the flu or developing illnesses. Old age significantly deteriorates the body and weakens the immune system. This means you are more prone to falling ill and hence a bigger risk for insurance companies to take on.

If you took your insurance plan when you were young, the increase in premium due to old age (or any other factors whatsoever) is reflected as loading. If you see a loading charge in the calculation of your premium suddenly upon a renewal, know that it is either because of the old age factor or something like a recently detected critical illness, change in living areas or occupation, lifestyle changes or a new declared condition.

Why Does Age Affect the Premium?

It is now known that old age brings in risk for the insurance companies due to ease of catching illnesses. Let us explore these potential risk factors further for a better understanding:

  • Critical Illnesses: The fact is that one does not have to be old to develop a critical illness. There are several kinds of critical illnesses and they can be caused by ‘n’ number of factors. But old age adds up to the risk of developing them naturally. The body is less resistant to conditions like stroke and heart attacks which leads to high health insurance premiums.
  • Increased Risk of Pre-existing Diseases: A pre-existing condition is any illness or disease that you have had before taking the insurance plan. Old age has a higher chance of you developing a condition as per the family history or genetic make-up of your body. This increases the premium of the health insurance plans that you take in old age.
  • Elevated General Health: Old age in general increases healthcare expenses. For example, the chances of an adult in their 20s falling and breaking their knee are far less than a middle-aged person sustaining the same injury. Since your insurance company is liable to cover these expenses for you, they increase the premium of the plan.
  • Added Healthcare Expenses: It is no secret that healthcare is expensive, in the UAE or around the world. The more time you spend in a hospital getting treated, the more expensive it becomes for the insurance companies. This is another reason that old age increases the premium amount significantly. Since older people take longer to recover, the healthcare expenses add to be significantly higher for them, which are to be borne by the insurance company.

What is the Ideal Age to Buy Health Insurance?

As you may have heard before, there is no ideal age to buy health insurance plans. It is not a given fact that your young years will be completely disease-free or that your old age will be spent mostly in hospitals only. Young people can develop serious illnesses as well while many older people lead a rather healthy life. The ideal time to buy health insurance should align with your health conditions and related factors. For example – family history of critical illnesses, early symptoms of a critical illness, immunity, living area, environment, occupation, etc. For example, some living in an area with extreme air pollution will be more prone to develop a respiratory problem.

But when all is said and done, the increased premium due to old age remains to be a factor, Since, the insurance companies cannot determine the health deteriorating age for each individual, they apply it to everyone. This means, healthy or not, you will have to pay a high premium in old age. Since there are high chances of people developing severe illnesses in their older age, it is also possible that you will develop a condition like asthma before taking an insurance plan. That will be categorised as a pre-existing disease and hence will increase the premium even more.

The conclusion is that old age not only increases the premium due to its innate nature but also because of several underlying secondary factors that it brings in. This makes buying a health insurance plan when you are young, say in your 30s, a smart choice to make.

Should I Buy Health Insurance in Old-Age?

Simply put, yes, you should consider buying a health insurance plan in old age. Old age can be a very relaxing time but it can also be quite problematic if you happen to develop a disease, critical or otherwise. Having an apt insurance plan can help you with all the not-so-unexpected healthcare expenses of old age.

A normal individual health insurance plan would provide cover till the age of 70-75 years, depending on the terms of the insurance provider. Anyone older than that can go with special senior citizens health insurance plans. They are a little more expensive than the basic insurance plans but, they are worth it. Benefits are prepared to keep the needs of old age in mind which makes them a worthy investment.

Conclusion

Age is one of the biggest factors that add up health insurance premiums. But ageing is a natural process and cannot be stopped. Although you can still take some pre-planned steps to makes sure that you only spend the money that you need to and nothing extra. Buy health insurance when you are significantly young and do not qualify for any pre-existing diseases. This means that you will get the plan on a lower premium amount and every disease you happen to get after that will be covered by insurance with the same premium rates. Choosing the right time according to your general health conditions and preferences is the best way to make sure you get the perfect health insurance plan with a decent premium amount.

Laxita Gautam
Laxita Gautam63 Posts

Senior Content Writer | She functions on classic British fiction, Japanese manga, and strong americanos. Laxita is tailor-made to create engaging, interactive pieces that offer simplified insights into complex subjects.