Nicotine Tests and Insurance Policies: A Guide
Nicotine Tests and Insurance Policies
A Guide To The Types of Tests Used In The Rapidly Growing World of Nicotine Testing
The life expectancy of a smoker is about 10 years less than a non-smoker on average. This stark finding was published in the British Medical Journal a few years ago. Over time various clinical research has proven that smoking can cause many health issues like heart disease, lung cancer, COPD and more. This is exactly why health insurance and life insurance companies make it a point to charge a higher premium for those who are confirmed as smokers.
Certainly some people do not think this is fair, and it may very well not be. But to obtain health care or life insurance today, you are likely to face a nicotine test. You may even face one to obtain employment.
Nicotine testing is used by insurance companies to test whether the claims made in the application form are correct or not. Therefore nicotine testing is very much a part of the medical screening process that is conducted to finalize the premium that shall be charged. The premium that a non-smoker can expect to pay for a life insurance plan or a health plan is significantly lower than the amount that a smoker will need to pay.
While a tobacco test can be carried out by using a blood sample, a urine sample or a saliva sample, the one test that can detect nicotine in the system with the longest detection period is the hair drug test. The issue is that a hair follicle test for nicotine testing is fairly expensive and therefore is not feasible for testing all those who apply for a life insurance plan or for medical insurance.
In many cases, financial institutions that sell life insurance and health plans use a urine test to determine whether the applicant is a smoker or not. This is essentially a cotinine test that determines the level of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine being processed in the body. A cotinine test can detect nicotine up to 4 days after use in the human system.
If you have had a casual cigarette and want to ensure that a nicotine test does not give you away resulting in a high premium, you should consider checking your nicotine levels at home before you agree for a medical test. A home nicotine test can ensure that you are completely clean and ready for the test. Most home nicotine testing requires a small sample of urine and takes less than 5 minutes for results to appear. The home test is based on the standard cut off level of 200 ng/ml.
The tobacco test conducted at home is not very expensive and therefore can be used without feeling the pinch of losing a lot of money. In any case, the reduction that you can expect in the premium shall more than justify the amount spent on the home nicotine test.
The product can detect any kind of tobacco and can be used to detect pipe tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and even smokeless tobacco. So if you really want to come out clean during the medical checkups organized by insurance companies, take the home nicotine test to ensure that the nicotine has actually run out of the system, and that your efforts to quit will indeed be rewarded.
Although we certainly would not recommend lying to insurance companies on your application, there is no reason why you should feel that you are doing something wrong or get charged a higher premium if you are a casual smoker. An insurance company may try and squeeze a higher premium from you even if you smoke a single cigarette in a year. Avoid coincidences where the medical test date coincides with a casual cigarette that you may have smoked with nicotine testing at home.
Home Health Testing is committed to providing a variety of information on our tests. Please check out the Nicotine Testing section of our blog for more information about nicotine tests.
Article by Anne Hamilton.