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How does drinking alcohol impact your health insurance premiums?

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Alcoholism is one of several factors that can increase a person's health risk. So it should come as no surprise that heavy drinking and smoking will raise the cost of your health insurance plan, as both addictions are known to be harmful to your health. If you are wondering how drinking alcohol impacts your health insurance premiums, this article has the answer.




Are alcoholics eligible to buy health insurance?

Contrary to widespread belief, Indian insurance companies provide health insurance to those who consume alcohol. Your application may still be considered even if you drink regularly. However, they can request that you take a test to see if you drink excessively. Thus, you can purchase health insurance even if you often drink alcohol. Note that your health plan will not cover hospitalisation due to health issues or injuries as a direct result of drinking alcohol. This is because all health insurance policies in India have the exclusion that no claims can be made for injuries or diseases brought on by alcoholism or sustained while under the influence of alcohol.

What effect does drinking alcohol have on your health insurance costs?

While it doesn't prevent you from purchasing health insurance, drinking affects your premium. The cost of your health insurance will increase if you drink. This is because regular alcohol use, especially in large doses, raises the risk of several illnesses, including liver failure, hypertension, stroke, breast and oral cancer, pancreatitis, etc. Those who are fit and lead healthy lifestyles are offered lower premiums. Drinking alcohol can lead to major health issues, which increases the insurance provider's liability and your premiums. 

What are the health risks associated with alcoholism?

Alcoholism causes a number of health problems that will gradually worsen with regular, uncontrolled alcohol consumption. Here are a few negative effects of alcoholism on a person's body.

What is the acceptable ‘alcohol consumption level’?

Health insurance providers have different rules when it comes to acceptable limits about how much alcohol a policyholder can regularly consume. Drinking large amounts of alcohol is bad for your health. If it's your habit, try to limit your intake to the amount recommended by your health insurance company.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a limit on alcohol consumption, and drinking beyond this limit is considered as excessive drinking. In India, for every 100 ml a person's blood must not have more than 30mg of alcohol. This limit applies to driving safely.  If you drink more than this amount, your insurance company will probably consider you to be a higher risk and increase the price of your health insurance policy.

Your health insurance application’s approval may depend on how frequently you drink. If you think you may have excessive drinking syndrome, you should talk to a healthcare provider so they can give you suggestions on how to cut back or restrict your alcohol consumption.

The insurance provider evaluates the risk and sets the health insurance premium based on your current health status when you apply for coverage. A person with no medical conditions would pay a lower premium than someone with a history of a drinking issue.

Tips to decrease your health insurance premium when recovering from a drinking problem

If you were a frequent drinker in the past but are now quitting, you can use the following tips to decrease your health insurance premium.

  • Submit a statement outlining your decision to stop drinking alcohol and how your mental and physical health has improved.

  • Proof of your progress supported by a doctor will strengthen the validity of your health insurance request.

  • Inform your insurance company of the rehabilitation programme you have enrolled in and the fact that you've successfully completed your rehabilitation programme.

  • You can also show your driving history to the insurance provider if you were never detained for drunk driving.

Frequently asked questions

Here are common questions and answers about alcohol and its effects on health insurance.

Which coverages are included in a health insurance plan for alcoholic policyholders?


Coverages like in-patient hospitalisation, a cashless facility, and lifelong renewability are included in a health insurance plan for alcoholic policyholders.

Why is the health insurance premium so high for people who drink excessively?


Drinking too much alcohol can lead to major health issues, which is an insurance risk. Thus, a health insurance premium is high for people who drink excessively.

Is it possible to lower the health insurance premium if you quit drinking?


Yes, it is possible to lower the health insurance premium if you quit drinking, but you need to prove the same. You must submit supporting documents from your certified health care provider, treatment centre, etc., to prove that you have quit drinking and are taking active measures to improve your health.

Is it possible to hide a drinking problem from a health insurance company?


No, it is not possible to hide a drinking problem from a health insurance company because your insurer can ask for a health checkup. This usually happens before issuing the health plan. However, if the insurer is in doubt, they can ask you to undergo tests at any time during the policy period.

Also read: Family health insurance plans

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content, and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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