This exciting and deserved news was announced on World Aids Day in December 2015.
HIV is now officially classified as a chronic illness. In fact, people living with HIV and on maintenance medications, are living long and healthy lives. It is only right that life insurance companies recognize this and offer affordable life insurance as they would others living with chronic conditions.
Up until World Aids Day, life insurance for those living with HIV was unattainable. All that changed when Prudential announced they were introducing 10 and 15 year convertible term insurance for the more than 1.2 million Americans in our country living with HIV. This will not only directly benefit this population but will also help those diagnosed in the future. It is a significant achievement that medical advances have given so many people good health and long lives. Kudos to Prudential for recognizing this fact and for their commitment to protecting those affected.
How did Prudential Come to the Decision to Offer Life Insurance for HIV Patients?
In order to determine whether life insurance coverage would be feasible for both the client and the insurance company, Prudential teamed up with Aequalis who studied the HIV population for years. Aequalis gathered enough statistical data to prove that this is a stable population. With the hard data as unequivocal proof of projected life expectancies, Prudential is offering 10 and 15 year individual convertible term life insurance policies. It is important to note, that a convertible policy means that without any future medical questions, insureds can choose to keep their policies far beyond 15 years. Permanent policies can be structured to last a lifetime which in the current world is up to 120 years of age.
Restrictions on Life Insurance
As with all insurance, there are underwriting requirements. Underwriting terms will contain health qualifications, such as specific blood cell counts. Coverage is limited to those with HIV and will not be available to those with an “AIDS-defining condition,” those who have acquired the virus through a blood transfusion, or those who have used intravenous drugs. To qualify, individuals must have received their HIV diagnosis a minimum 12 months prior to purchasing the policy. If the individual is receiving treatment, they must be a minimum of six months out from the start of receiving treatment in order to be eligible. These qualifications mean that the newly diagnosed are encouraged to seek out treatments in order to purchase their life insurance coverage. It is significant that 50,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with HIV every year.
How does all of this translate to the targeted consumer?
First and foremost, life insurance companies in New Jersey are doing what was once the impossible: providing life insurance to people living with HIV. This option for so many affected people will be life changing. Obtaining a life insurance policy will allow for protecting loved ones and their futures. Life insurance can help with college costs and mortgages. It helps preserve retirement benefits and it often pays funeral costs. Most importantly, it always provides peace of mind for us and for those we love.