March is National Nutrition Month. A healthy diet can help you avoid disease or regain health, maintain a healthy weight and support a healthy lifestyle. What does that have to do with insurance? As a medical professional, you already know that your health affects every aspect of your life. But did you know that it can also affect your ability to obtain disability insurance and the premiums you pay? Here’s a detailed look at why good nutrition habits help you beat high insurance rates.
What Do Disability Insurance Companies Consider When Determining Your Premiums?
Insurance providers consider a multitude of factors before offering you a quote. These include your health risks, your profession, where you reside, your marital status and even whether or not you’ve had insurance coverage in the past. Although the weight each company assigns to any of the factors varies from company to company, the Health Risk Profile created from your answers to a health questionnaire or from a required physical from a health care provider usually plays a heavy role in what premiums are offered.
What Does a Standard Health Risk Profile Include?
The standards that each disability insurance company uses can vary greatly, but most will consider these five factors before offering a quote for insurance.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prohibited discrimination against women when it comes to pricing health insurance, disability insurance is a whole different ballgame. The ACA removed “gender rating,” which was a practice that was determined to be discriminatory because it created up to an 81% gap and 50% higher premiums for women due to the ability to birth children and a tendency to live longer than men and visit healthcare providers more frequently than men.
Disability insurance providers, however, may still charge higher premiums for women. Some companies give similar reasons, such as leaving the workforce (either temporarily or permanently) to raise children, shortened periods of time in the workforce due to marriage and salary discrepancies for some professions.
Although it’s not a given, many people see a decline in health as they age. Risk factors for heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer and vision and hearing problems all increase with age. Just like gender, the ACA did away with age discrimination for health insurance, but disability insurance may still consider your age when determining premiums. The older you are, the more likely your premium quotes will rise.
Your family members’ problems aren’t necessarily your problems, right? Wrong! When it comes to disability insurance, family health histories come into play. You’ll likely be asked to provide information about your parents and siblings who are under the age of 60. While merely having a certain health condition in a family member might not mean your rates will skyrocket, death resulting from some health conditions before age 60 can negatively impact your premiums. A few of these conditions include:
- Kidney disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Smoking-related diseases
Body Mass Index
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) has long been a measure of overall health. While this measure doesn’t apply to some people, such as weightlifters, some athletes and some older people, for most it is a practical indicator of body fat estimates and risks for disease. If your BMI score is 30 or greater, you are considered obese and at a higher risk for some diseases, including:
- Osteoporosis and other bone diseases
- High blood cholesterol and heart attack
- Liver problems
- Sleep apnea
- Some cancers
Having a higher risk for health problems can adversely affect your disability insurance quotes. The more health risks you have in your profile, the higher the rates can climb.
Smoking leads to disability, so, it’s no surprise that tobacco use is a prime factor in the health risk profile for disability insurance. Smoking and tobacco use have been proven to cause multiple cancers, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) just to name a few. So, if you smoke or use any other type of tobacco, you can count on your disability insurance quotes to be higher than those who don’t.
What Does Nutrition Have to Do with Disease, Health and Disability Insurance?
Nutrition plays a tremendous role in staying healthy, avoiding disease and regaining your wellness during and after disease strikes. A healthy diet helps prevent illness and promotes:
- Better work performance
- Clearer thinking and cognitive skills
- Good digestive health
- A healthy weight and body chemistry
- Healthy aging
- Cardiovascular and heart health
Physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses and all medical professionals know that eating a healthy diet contributes to your overall health and your performance on the job, but putting it into practice is sometimes easier said than done. Healthcare professionals in general work long shifts and may not have a lot of time to find healthy choices amongst the lines of vending machines in the break rooms or at the cafeteria. That’s why planning ahead for a healthy diet is so important for medical professionals, and especially residents and fellow physicians who often spend days on end at the hospital. If you need a little help planning a healthy diet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a great resource for online information and finding a registered dietician near you.
While you can’t control factors like your gender, your age and genetically-acquired diseases, following good nutrition practices can certainly help you keep many other health concerns at bay and keep you healthy so you can enjoy a long career. Considering all of the factors that disability insurance providers look at when offering you a quote, you want to be as healthy as possible now and going forward. And the healthier you are, the better you will fare on your health risk profile which will reduce your disability insurance premiums.
How InsureSTAT Can Help Reduce Your Disability Insurance Premiums
Planning and sticking to a healthy diet are great starts to reducing your disability insurance premiums, but InsureSTAT can help even more! As the leading online source for individual disability insurance for physicians, residents and fellows, nurses and physician assistants, InsureSTAT incorporates a network of providers to find you the best disability and life insurance for your needs. We have over 50 years of combined experience and can help you get over the hurdles of obtaining insurance. Just a few of the advantages of working with InsureSTAT are:
- Unisex pricing, which helps females save up to 40% on premiums
- Portable discounted individually-owned policies to lock in lower prices over your lifetime
- Resident and fellow policies so you can get insured earlier
- Own Occupation and Specialty definitions which allow you to receive benefits longer
And it only takes a few minutes to start your quote with InsureSTAT! In less than the time it takes to make a healthy sandwich you can be on your way to great, locked-in disability and life insurance premiums. Start your quote now with our quick online form. Get protected today with InsureSTAT.