Not so long ago, those who were HIV-positive were prohibited from purchasing life insurance. It’s curious, though, that those who understand the need for life insurance the best either have a difficult time purchasing it or are completely unable to do it.
The good news is that a few life insurance firms have made certain accommodations for those who have HIV.
American HIV infection rates
When compared to many other illnesses that provide a serious risk of death, the facts and figures of Americans who are living with HIV are mind-boggling. In fact, one in seven Americans is now living with HIV and may not even be aware of it, according to HIV.gov. Here are the current numbers:
- In the US, 1.2 million persons are thought to be HIV positive. Of those 1.2 million, almost 14% should be checked because they are unaware that they have the illness.
- Racial minorities continue to be most affected by HIV, particularly gay and bisexual men.
- In the United States, there were more than 36,000 new HIV infections in 2018.
- In the United States, around 38,000 people had an HIV diagnosis in 2018, which is 7% fewer instances than in 2014.
- The southern states are currently the geographical region where new diagnoses are found.
- In the United States in 2018, 15,280 persons (adults and adolescents) passed away from HIV.
Can HIV-positive individuals purchase life insurance?
Many life insurers are ready to offer coverage to applicants who are HIV positive because many people with HIV live fairly long and normal lives.
When the policy is issued, be ready to pay a much higher rate and be ready to supply additional information throughout the underwriting process.
Remember that policies are only awarded once the underwriter has a thorough understanding of the applicant’s health situation and has been given proof that all required measures are being taken to treat the sickness.
How HIV Affects the Cost of Life Insurance
The majority of life insurers will not provide conventional life insurance plans like Term or Universal life during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the fact that some are prepared to consider applicants who are HIV positive.
It’s also crucial to keep in mind that organizations that traditionally provide standard life insurance to applicants who have received an HIV diagnosis typically won’t take into account a candidate who received the diagnosis less than a year prior to applying for coverage.
Additionally, the underwriting standards used to establish which rate class an applicant qualifies for will be utilized to determine your life insurance rates.
There are typically many rate classes offered by insurance providers, with preferred plus having the lowest prices and standard smoker having one of the highest.
The following are the rate classes that life insurance most frequently provide:
- Favored plus
- Ideal Standard Plus
- Smoker Substandard Smoker Standard (Table Rated)
- Typically, applicants who have tested positive for HIV will receive a Substandar rating. A healthy applicant who does not have HIV will be given lower rates than an application who has been diagnosed with HIV, regardless
- of how well the applicant is treating their HIV.
Application Procedure for Life Insurance for HIV Positive People
Although a few of insurers will take an applicant who tests positive for HIV into account when underwriting a life insurance policy, the procedure is the same across all of them.
When a potential life insurance customer applies and admits that they are HIV positive, the insurance provider will want a supplement to the usual application that carefully details the patient’s diagnosis and the illness management strategy used.
The following list is not all-inclusive of the information that is generally required:
- When the diagnosis was made
- Current viral load and CD4 count
- In addition to HIV, are there any other medical conditions?
- The drugs prescribed, along with their dosages
- Do you have symptoms now, or have you ever had symptoms?
- You can be sure that the application procedure will take longer if the HIV-positive diagnosis is made public because records from your doctor’s office, in-patient institutions where you may have had treatment, and medical records will all be ordered.
The application process will be shortened from weeks and months to just a few days if you choose to buy last expense insurance (whole life insurance with a modest coverage level) or guaranteed issue life insurance (no medical underwriting).
Factors for HIV-positive People in Underwriting
The mortality risk that each applicant provides to the insurance company is determined through the process of underwriting a life insurance policy. The insurance provider will request a wide range of tests and reports when an applicant confesses that they are HIV positive in order to assess the risk to the insurer.
Applicants who test positive for HIV should anticipate that the underwriter will question them about at least five aspects of their HIV diagnosis:
- Stage of the Illness
- With regard to HIV, there are three stages.
Acute HIV infection – Acute HIV infection is the first stage of the disease and lasts for two to four weeks after the first infection, during which time the body develops antibodies that can be found by a routine HIV antibody test. Because of how quickly the virus is multiplying at this time, the sickness is exceedingly contagious.
Chronic HIV Infection – In the chronic stage of HIV infection, the amount of the virus rises as the CD4 cell count falls. Antiretroviral medication (ART) is administered to help prevent the virus from damaging the immune system and causing AIDS when the level of CDR cells declines since it shows the patient is suffering growing immune system damage.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, also known as AIDS, is the most severe form of HIV. When a patient with HIV exhibits one of the symptoms of AIDS or has a CD4 count that is less than 200 cells/mm, this diagnosis is made.
How old the applicant is
The carriers who will consider an HIV positive application demand that the applicant be no older than 50 years of age, even if underwriting standards vary per insurance company.
The HIV+ applicant’s general state of health
The underwriter will ask about any other health concerns, both present and past, as HIV-positive applicants rarely appear with just the HIV diagnosis.
The majority of underwriters will also be worried about any lifestyle difficulties that the applicant might disclose on the application and whether or not they are healthy enough to maintain a job and take care of daily living chores.