Why some life insurance companies won’t sell plans to people living with HIV.
HIV has been a global crisis for four decades, affecting everyone from children to older adults. Currently, there are 31 million people around the world living with HIV. Though there have been incredible strides fighting against HIV/AIDS, it’s pretty sad to know that many of these people still face unique challenges.
Like anyone else, HIV-positive people want the best for their family and to have as much protection as possible. Traditionally speaking, companies don’t sell life insurance to high risk individuals and that includes HIV life insurance. Though this is not cool, there are complex reasons for this to say the least.
Underwriting is the process insurance companies go through to guess how long you’ll live. As creepy as that sounds, the fact remains that life insurance companies gather data including age, gender and health to determine how soon the grim reaper will be darkening your door. Health insurance underwriting for a person with HIV is also a reality.
The Wysh Blog
- The ins and outs of HIV life insurance
- Medical Requirement Regiment
- There is hope for HIV-Positive individuals
The ins and outs of HIV life insurance
Despite the scary stats surrounding those with HIV seeking insurance, many companies have shifted their policies and requirements to offer access to people living with these specific conditions. There are also certain policies that benefit people living with HIV. Final expense insurances are whole life policies that have a small death benefit and are easier to get approved for. There are a few types of final expense insurance:
Guaranteed Issue life insurance: This policy has high premiums and low coverage amounts. It’s designed for those who may not be able to pass a medical exam or even a thorough questionnaire.
Simplified Issue life insurance: With this type of plan you also don’t have to get poked by a needle though you do need to answer medical questions, including those about HIV.
Group life insurance: Although this is technically not a final expense plan, this type of insurance has one contract that covers a squad, so the better everyone is doing the better it is for the group. Group life insurance is often used as an employer-based benefit.
Medical Requirement Regiment
Many companies are still side-eyeing HIV-positive people when offering insurance if there is risk involved no matter what medical advancements have been made. However, some are already shifting to accept those with HIV. These companies ask specific questions to understand how each person is managing their HIV, and from there they choose to insure them or not. Every company has different conditions but generally speaking, some of the underwriting requirements for those with HIV to get life insurance may include:
- To be on highly active antiretroviral therapy for at least two years and demonstrate favorable lab results.
- Not have had an AIDS-defining illness.
- Be between ages 20 and 65.
- Under the care of a doctor specializing in HIV.
- Not have a history of substance or intravenous abuse.
There is hope for HIV-Positive individuals
Don’t be discouraged! Modern medicine has lengthened the lifespan for a person living with HIV, which is why science is dope. Therefore, companies will continue to reassess their policies to provide coverage no matter your status. Round of applause for progress.
For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Equal Insurance HIV Act so that starting in 2023 California insurers won’t be allowed to deny life insurance or disability income insurance based solely on an applicant’s positive HIV test. Go Cali!
As we continue to see more data about prolonged lives of those living with HIV we should expect more companies to offer more reasonably priced longer-term options.