People who are HIV positive are living longer and leading healthy and fulfilling lives because of advances in drug therapies to control the disease. The life insurance industry has taken note and has started to offer life insurance products to those living with HIV. The life insurance rates for people with HIV are actually reasonable for some income levels.
Affordable life insurance for HIV positive individuals
When I first received the email announcing that individuals with HIV could qualify for life insurance I was skeptical. I wondered just how high the premiums would be. I had the agency that sent me the email run a quote for a 40 year old man, non-tobacco user, with HIV for term life insurance.
For a $250,000 death benefit*
- 10 year term is $660 annual premium
- 15 year term is $820 annual premium
- 20 year term is $1,030 annual premium
For a $500,000 death benefit*
- 10 year term is $1,230 annual premium
- 15 year term is $1,530 annual premium
- 20 year term is $1,910 annual premium
*Quoted as of April, 2016, John Hancock Life Insurance. Available for ages 30 to 65. Death benefits from $100,000 to $2 million, term or permanent life insurance. Long Term Care Rider available on some policies.
Full disclosure – I’m not a big fan of life insurance. Most people should be saving for retirement before they buy life insurance. Most people outlive their life term life insurance policies. However, life insurance, when it is affordable, can be important protection for families against the sudden loss of income from an untimely death.
The life insurance rates for people with HIV are similar to rates for people who live with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. All of these chronic illnesses, like HIV, can be controlled very well with medications. Recent studies have shown that individuals with HIV are living close to the average life expectancy. So, why not offer this group of individuals life insurance? They’ll probably out live the term and never use it!
No life insurance is guarantee issue. There is always some underwriting involved. There may be other health factors for people with HIV that either triggers a higher rate or denial. In addition the typical height and weight questions, along with a para-medical exam, HIV positive individuals will have supply some other data with applying for life insurance. Some of the additional questions include:
- Tobacco use
- Date of Diagnoses of HIV
- Has there been a diagnoses of AIDS
- How was the virus contracted
- Any history of illicit drug use
- ALL medications and dosages
- On the “Triple Drug” regimen? (This is one of the more common medication
- Is the client resistant to the drug regimen?
- Viral Load
- Is the condition Stable for the past few years? (Readings remained level with no
- CD4 Count – Must be under 500 cells/mm
- Any history of Hep A/B/C etc?
- Any other medical conditions?
- Any history of complications? If yes, need details – dates, treatment etc.
- Any hospitalizations due to the condition?
Many people who are HIV positive have good jobs and are raising families. They have the same concerns as anyone else about providing for their family if they should unexpectedly die, not from the HIV but from something out-of-the blue like getting hit while cycling through Marin County. It is great to see advances in drug therapies that are allowing people with HIV to live long and fruitful lives. It is nice to see life insurance products that acknowledge that being HIV positive is no different than the many other health challenges we live with and control with the supervision of our doctors.