The modern-day lifestyle coupled with stress and medical-inflation has made it an absolute must to get health insurance. The trail of life is extremely uncertain and none of us are aware of what is waiting for us next, hence it is vital to be well-prepared to counter strokes of the financial burden that medical diagnosis and treatment can incur.
Most of us focus on various factors like the coverage, payable premium, additional features, and riders but ever wondered how is the health insurance premium calculated? There are numerous aspects that are considered while determining the premium of health insurance plans in the UAE.
Health insurance providers determine the premium individually in order to evaluate the degree of risk and their medical history. By evaluating the profile of an individual the provider analyzes the probability of paying out the sum assured based on which the premium is decided. The risk analysis involves a plethora of factors like age, tobacco and alcohol consumption, medical history, profession, and gender.
Gender is an important factor that is considered while determining health insurance by providers. In this thread, we will decode the relationship between health insurance premiums and gender and thereby its effects. So, stay tuned!
Factors that Affect Health Insurance Premiums
There are numerous factors that affect the health insurance premiums, here’s a quick rundown-
- Medical History
- Family History of Illnesses
- Lifestyle habits
- Consumption of Tobacco and Alcohol
As a general thumb rule, health insurance premiums tend to rise with increasing age and therefore it is advisable one should purchase health insurance plans in the early stages of life to save on premiums.
The history of illnesses and family history of ailments allows the insurer to get a rough idea of the degree of risk associated with an applicant’s profile. Very often, applicants with a family history of terminal or critical illness are charged higher in comparison with people with no family history. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a higher likelihood of getting affected by the same illness as result genetics.
Lifestyle habits and consumption of alcohol/tobacco are one of the major factors that affect health insurance premiums. Heavy smokers and chronic drinkers are more likely to suffer from life-threatening ailments that increase the likelihood of payout for the insurance provider which results in an increase in health insurance premiums for applicants.
Gender as a Factor
As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that contribute to determining the premium for your health insurance plan. It might appear surprising but one of these decisive factors is the gender of the insurance seeker.
Technically, the practice of charging a particular gender higher health insurance premium rate is known as gender rating and usually, women have to pay more when compared to men. Life and health insurance providers work on the concept of risk-based price evaluation where the profile of an applicant is assessed on the basis of risk of morbidity and mortality.
When it comes to assessing the risk and rate of morbidity and mortality gender comes into the picture. The difference in gender amid dealing with medical emergencies affects the possibility of billing the health insurance policy. Therefore, health insurance premiums are higher for women that fall into the age bracket of childbearing in comparison to men.
However, women always do not have to pay higher health insurance premiums in comparison to men. In the later stages of life, women have to pay lower premiums than males from the age bracket of 60 onwards. To keep it simple and explanatory one can say that the difference in health insurance premiums is a result of the difference in the claim costs.
Decoding the Reason of Disparities
We’ve understood that women have to pay higher health insurance premiums when compared to men but what is the reason behind this disparity in the prices. First of all, the possibility of visiting a doctor/ consultant and taking a prescription is higher for women falling in the reproductive age bracket i.e. 15-45 years. Secondly, women are more prone to chronic ailments in comparison to men during their reproductive phase of life. Approximately 20% of total women during their childbearing age experience loss of blood due to heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles and 15-18% experience severe pelvic pain. Furthermore, one out of every 28th women is likely to develop a benign or non-benign form of breast cancer.
Another crucial reason that contributes to the disparity in health insurance prices is that a lot of health insurance providers offer tailored plans specially designed and developed for women. These plans include additional features centered around maternity which adds up to the cost of health insurance premium. Secondly, due to a higher probability of women visiting doctors and seeking treatment during the course of life in comparison to men also contributes to higher prices of health insurance plans.
Contrary, to the first scenario where women usually end up paying for than men in the latter stages of life men end up paying more. With increasing age, the chances of pulmonary and heart-related diseases increase substantially that often turns out to be fatal. According to statistics, the total number of fatalities and disabilities from pulmonary and heart-related issues is much higher for men. Therefore, men have to pay higher health insurance premiums than women in the later stages of life i.e. after 60.
Apart from all the reasons that include lifestyle and medical susceptibility, the life expectancy of an applicant also plays a major role in determining the health insurance prices. The life expectancy of an individual may be defined as how long he/she is likely to survive.
The best part about health insurance providers in the UAE is that the final payable premium is determined on the basis of all the mentioned where each factor has an equal weightage. However, one cannot deny the fact that there are some providers that prioritize genders while evaluating the health insurance premium. Provided the degree of risk the most prominent factor is the age when it comes to determining life insurance prices in the UAE.
In a Nutshell
According to a report, a large number of working women suffered from different lifestyle ailments like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, back problems, spondylitis, depression, and heart ailments. As the number of women increases in the workforce, it is equally crucial to ensure that they have easy and regular access to medical facilities.
Companies should offer specialized health insurance plans that provide coverage against all sorts of medical expenditures. Medical emergencies won’t knock on your door before coming and therefore it is an absolute must for all of us to get suitable health insurance plans irrespective of gender or age. Before you go ahead and purchase a health insurance plan it is important to indulge in proper market research followed by comparison to make sure you choose the right product that suits your budget as well as needs.