If you’ve been recently diagnosed with HIV, you may be wondering if you can get life insurance with HIV on your medical record.
While it was once nearly impossible to buy a life policy as an HIV positive or AIDS patient, new medical technology and changes in state laws targeting discrimination have made it possible to get HIV life insurance.
With life expectancy increasing for someone with HIV or AIDS, thanks to things like antiretroviral therapy, some life insurance providers are now offering policies.
Though you may face some limited options, finding the best affordable life insurance for people with HIV is simply a matter of researching your policy options and comparing HIV life insurance quotes to find the right coverage for your needs.
How To Get Life Insurance With HIV/AIDS
However, given the growing demand for HIV life insurance as well as increasing life expectancy for diagnosed patients, many of the best insurance companies have created new kinds of policies specifically designed for people with HIV.
Although the death benefit offered by these new plans is limited in comparison to a traditional policy, any amount of life insurance coverage can still serve to protect your family financially.
The key to securing life insurance with HIV is knowing which alternative policies to look for.
Best Life Insurance Policies for HIV/AIDS
The types of life insurance available for people infected with HIV include the following:
- Group Life Insurance – many employers and companies offer their employees group life insurance. If you work for a company with a good benefits package, you might look into buying this type of life insurance through your employer, which could amount to around $10,000. With a voluntary life insurance plan, you may be able to get a higher death benefit than elsewhere.
- High Risk Life Insurance – High risk insurance companies specialize in underwriting life coverage for high risk individuals with severe health issues such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease. High risk insurance may be one of the best life insurance options for HIV positive people as it is tailor-made to provide coverage for them.
- Critical Illness Life Insurance – Specialty insurance companies offer life insurance for people with critical illnesses and health issues. Because each insurer establishes its own underwriting guidelines and processes, some carriers may require you to take a medical exam while others may not. You will need to thoroughly review your critical illness policy options since coverage varies between companies.
- Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance – Guaranteed life insurance policies can be purchased by all eligible applicants regardless of health status. Because the process of buying guaranteed coverage does not require answering any medical history questions and thereby increases the risk to the insurance company, HIV patients will need to pay a higher premium for a lower death benefit. This is a policy of last resort.
- Final Expense Insurance: Also called burial insurance, this type of policy covers the final expenses one’s family might encounter. Burial insurance policies are small, capping off at $50,000, and premiums can be higher than those of a traditional policy, but you may be able to access one in spite of your health condition or age.
As you can see, buying life insurance with HIV is a challenge.
If you purchased a policy before your HIV or AIDS diagnosis, it is extremely important that you do not let the coverage lapse by any means.
A cheap term life insurance policy before the discovery of a major health issue will provide your beneficiaries with a large death benefit payout at an affordable rate.
Any HIV life insurance in the future will not offer the same value and benefits in comparison.
Factors Which Will Impact Your Coverage
Whenever a life insurance company underwrites a policy for a new customer, their main goal is to assess how much of a risk they are undertaking in insuring them.
To do so, they take into consideration your health, age, and lifestyle, looking to any factors which might increase their risk of paying out a policy.
The same is true when you have been diagnosed with HIV, in addition to a few specific considerations:
- Your overall health: Like any applicant, your health will be assessed. With any pre-existing condition, underwriters look to determine how you manage your illness, getting an idea of how well you are able to function with it on a day-to-day basis.
- Your age: As is the case with traditional applicants, your age will be considered when calculating quotes, weighed differently depending on the company and type of policy you seek.
- Other conditions: If you suffer from any other serious health conditions, it may impact your rates and general access to coverage.
- Treatment: With specific regard to your diagnosis, the insurance provider will look to the treatment of your condition. While your condition may be incurable, its treatability can help your likelihood of getting covered.
- Progression: Essentially, the further your illness has advanced, the less likely you are to access a traditional life insurance policy. If your HIV infection has progressed to AIDS, you may not be able to qualify for traditional coverage.
FAQs for Getting Life Insurance with HIV/AIDS
If you’re wondering how to proceed with getting life insurance with your condition, here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions individuals with HIV and AIDS face.
Should I Tell The Life Insurance Company I Am HIV Positive?
The only time you should disclose any personal information is when the life insurance company requests the release of that information.
Unless they ask you about HIV, AIDS, or health-related issues, you do not need to volunteer information or disclose your health status to an insurance company. But, understand there may be catch-all questions, in which you will.
However, you must be truthful when asked any health questions during your medical exam for HIV life insurance. In addition to avoiding insurance fraud, most life insurance companies have a contestability clause in their contracts.
This means that, for two years after your policy is purchased, your insurer has the right to cancel your policy or challenge a claim if it is determined you misrepresented your condition.
Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have HIV, Not AIDS?
You can get HIV life insurance if you are healthy and have your illness under control.
This is because medical advances have increased the life expectancy of people participating in recommended HIV therapies to 25 years. Successfully managing your HIV and health for years can increase the likelihood of finding affordable coverage.
The only issue HIV positive people may run into when shopping for life insurance is the limited options available because no insurance company will sell them a cheap traditional term life insurance policy.
And while there are many carriers that specialize in different types of high risk insurance, not everyone can afford the more expensive premiums.
How Much Does Life Insurance With HIV Cost, On Average?
Because HIV is considered a serious health risk that shortens a person’s life expectancy, the average cost of life insurance for people with HIV is 3 to 5 times more than what a healthy applicant would pay.
As with any other kind of coverage, you can lower your premiums by applying when your condition is under control and you are in good overall health.
Ultimately, companies do offer life insurance for people with HIV.
While your life insurance rates may not be as cheap as someone who is in perfect health, buying HIV life insurance is better than not having a policy at all.