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Obesity and private medical insurance

Recent obesity reports have raised the question of how the private medical insurance industry views people less healthy than others. One in four British adults are obese, making Britain one of the most obese countries in the world.

Debbie Kleiner-Gaines from the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries comments, “A lot of private medical insurance now focuses on health and well-being to encourage customers to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

"Several insurers give individuals discounts on gym membership, and on-line access to advice on healthy lifestyles and diet. Unlike other forms of insurance, such as life cover, critical illness and income protection, private medical insurers generally do not penalise overweight people by charging higher premiums.  If someone obese has not yet had any cause to visit their GP, they could get medical insurance with no personal exclusions. This is because currently applications for private medical insurance are assessed on an individual’s personal medical conditions, and not on lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking and alcohol consumption.”

 

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Obesity and private medical insurance
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