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What are Health Insurance Premiums? How are they Calculated?

Health insurance premiums are regular payments individuals make to insurance providers in exchange for coverage of medical expenses. These premiums are calculated based on factors reflecting the insurer's risk assessment.

  • 4,048 Views | Updated on: May 20, 2024

Living in this fast-paced world has its repercussions on our health. As you age, you realize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Amidst a pandemic, everyone took extra care of themselves.

Key takeaways

  • The insurance company provides financial coverage for any medical emergency in exchange for regular payments from your end.
  • When you decide on a health insurance policy, you will determine the coverage, inclusions and exclusions for your policy.
  • One of the primary factors affecting health insurance costs is the insured individual’s age.
  • Certain lifestyle choices can impact health insurance costs.
  • The premium amount for a health insurance policy is calculated based on several different factors.

But, a life-threatening disease usually comes in when you are unprepared, and the rising healthcare costs can burn a hole in your savings. However, you can prevent this by getting a health insurance policy covering most of our population’s health diseases.

What is Health Insurance?

A health insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. The insurance company will provide financial coverage for any medical emergency in exchange for regular payments from your end.

In a health insurance policy, you will either get full reimbursement of your medical bills, or you can get cashless treatment, wherein the insurer directly pays the hospital. When you decide on a health insurance policy, you will determine the coverage, inclusions and exclusions for your policy. After you provide all the essential information, the insurance company will determine the premium amount you must pay.

What is a Health Insurance Premium?

In the health insurance contract, a premium is an amount that you pay periodically to the insurance company in exchange for the insurance coverage they provide. Keeping up with the premium payments ensures that your policy is in force.

How are Health Insurance Premiums Calculated?

The premium amount for a health insurance policy is calculated based on several different factors. Although insurance companies have a guideline for calculating the premium, the factors listed below play an essential role in deciding the amount:


Age is pivotal in deciding the premium amount. If you are young, the amount will be low as your health is intact and in good shape.

Medical History

Any serious ailments or critical illnesses in the past can result in a high premium amount.


The policy you choose can also affect the premium you will pay. If the policy includes more illnesses, the features offered are more, or if you have selected more riders with the policy, the premium will be higher.


Your lifestyle can also directly affect the premium amount you pay. An unhealthy lifestyle may increase your premium amount. For instance, if you are a smoker or use tobacco products, you will have to pay a high premium.

No Claim Bonus

You will be rewarded if you have not filed a claim during the policy’s tenure. Your premium will decrease by some percentage, and your coverage will remain unchanged.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance is a crucial aspect of financial planning and risk management, providing individuals and families with a safety net against the rising costs of medical care. Understanding the types of health insurance plans available is essential for making informed decisions about coverage.

Individual Health Insurance

Individual health insurance plans are designed to cover a single policyholder. These policies cover medical expenses incurred due to illness, accidents, or hospitalization. Premiums are determined based on age, health condition, and sum insured.

Family Floater Plans

Family floater plans extend coverage to the entire family under a single policy. This type of plan offers a sum insured that can be utilized by any family member. It is a cost-effective option compared to purchasing individual policies for each family member.

Senior Citizen Health Insurance

As the name suggests, senior citizen health insurance plans are tailored for individuals in the elderly age group. These plans address the specific health concerns of seniors and often cover pre-existing conditions. Premiums may be higher due to increased health risks associated with age.

Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum payout upon the diagnosis of specified critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack, or stroke. This plan aims to ease the financial burden of expensive treatments and lifestyle changes that may follow a critical illness.

Group Health Insurance

Employers offer group health insurance plans to cover their employees. These plans ensure that employees can access medical care without worrying about high out-of-pocket expenses. Group health insurance is a valuable employee benefit and can extend coverage to the dependents.

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal accident insurance provides coverage for accidental injuries, disability, or death. This plan offers financial support to the insured or their family in case of accidents leading to disability or loss of life.

Tips to Reduce Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance is a critical component of financial planning, providing a safety net against unexpected medical expenses. However, the cost of health insurance premiums can sometimes strain budgets. Fortunately, there are several strategies to help reduce health insurance premiums without compromising the quality of coverage.

Compare Plans

One of the most effective ways to lower health insurance premiums is to shop around and compare plans. Different insurance providers offer various coverage options at different price points. Use online comparison tools to evaluate the benefits and costs of each plan, considering factors such as deductibles, copayments, and coverage limits.

Choose a Higher Deductible

Opting for a higher deductible can significantly lower your health insurance premiums. The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. While a higher deductible means more initial costs for you, it can lead to substantial savings in premiums over time.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Many insurance providers offer discounts or incentives for policyholders who adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This can include regular exercise, a balanced diet, and non-smoking habits. Some insurers may provide wellness programs that offer discounts on premiums or other benefits for engaging in healthy behaviors.

Review and Adjust Coverage

Periodically review your health insurance coverage to ensure it aligns with your current needs. Adjust your coverage accordingly if certain benefits are no longer relevant or necessary. Removing unnecessary coverage can lead to a reduction in premiums without sacrificing essential protection.

Bundle Insurance Policies

Some insurance providers offer discounts for bundling multiple insurance policies, such as health, auto, and homeowners insurance. Consolidating your insurance needs with a single provider can save overall costs and lower health insurance premiums.

Maintain Continuous Coverage

Maintaining continuous health insurance coverage can sometimes lead to lower premiums. Gaps in coverage may result in higher rates when you reapply for insurance. By consistently having coverage, you demonstrate responsibility to insurers, potentially qualifying for lower premium rates.

Summing Up

A health insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from rising healthcare costs. This policy will provide you with insurance coverage in a medical emergency. You must pay its premiums to keep the policy intact for its tenure. Factors like age, health and lifestyle determine the premium you spend on the policy. You can use premium calculators to understand your policy payments better.



Is calculating your health insurance premium possible online?

Yes, calculating your health insurance premium is possible online. Many insurance providers offer online tools known as premium calculators that allow individuals to input relevant information such as age, coverage needs, medical history, and other factors. The calculator then estimates the health insurance premium based on the provided data.


Why should I use an online premium calculator?

Using an online premium calculator can be beneficial for several reasons:

Convenience: It lets you quickly estimate your health insurance premium from the comfort of your home or office.

Comparison: You can use the calculator to compare premiums from different insurance plans and providers, helping you make an informed decision.

Customization: Premium calculators often consider individual factors, enabling you to tailor coverage options to meet your specific needs.

Time-saving: It streamlines the process of obtaining a premium estimate compared to traditional methods.


Are Lower Health Insurance Premiums Better?

Not necessarily. While lower health insurance premiums can be attractive, it is crucial to consider the overall value of the insurance plan. Lower premiums might come with higher out-of-pocket costs, limited coverage, or higher deductibles. It is essential to strike a balance between premium costs and the coverage provided to ensure the insurance plan meets your healthcare needs without compromising financial security.


How Often Are Health Insurance Premiums Due?

The frequency of health insurance premium payments can vary based on your insurance policy’s terms and the insurance provider’s agreement. Common payment frequencies include:

Monthly: Many individuals pay their health insurance premiums every month.

Quarterly: Some insurance plans allow for quarterly premium payments.

Annually: Certain policies offer the option to pay premiums annually. This can sometimes come with discounts compared to more frequent payment schedules.

Varied Options: Insurance providers may offer flexibility, allowing policyholders to choose the payment frequency that best suits their preferences and budget. It is essential to check with your specific insurance provider to determine the available payment options for your policy.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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