It used to be that getting life insurance with Hepatitis C was difficult. But, there’s nothing quite like a cure for a deadly disease to stir up the life insurance underwriting pot. When Harvoni showed up and put a stop to Hepatitis C (for those who could afford it), underwriters had to scramble. They had been underwriting Hep C for a long time and were used to seeing drugs that could control symptoms. Some of those drugs added a whole new layer to the underwriting as they were occasionally as dangerous as the disease itself, but they had never run into a drug that just flat cured Hep C and did it in short order- a pill a day for 12 weeks.
Life Insurance with Hepatitis C is Possible
Sooo, problem cured should mean approvals for life insurance at the best rates, right? Sooo, maybe! There is no doubt that being Hep C free, cured and not just in remission, gives you a much better shot than you used to obtaining life insurance with Hepatitis C. But, there are two other factors that the underwriter needs to consider. The first one is very straight up- you can’t have contracted Hep C from IV drug use and you can’t be HIV positive (Yes I know that was 2).
The other is just a matter of testing that you’ve probably already had done. They will want to know when your most recent biopsy was and if the biopsy showed any significant damage. You may have also had Fibrosis testing done to determine your Metavir Fibrosis score, a number from 0 to 5. A score of 0-1 means there is little to no fibrosis. If this is the case you could well be in line for preferred rate quotes. A score of 1-2 or 2-3 may not get you preferred rates but will be the best rates you’ve seen since being diagnosed with HCV. When your score gets up to 4, damage is significant enough that underwriters will shy away from offering life insurance with Hepatitis C as a diagnosis.
The good news is that our livers regenerate and healing from a 4 down to a 1 is not unheard of. It may take some years but you may go from un-insurable to insurable. A score of 5 means you have cirrhosis and is an automatic decline. At that point most agree that the liver is damaged beyond its’ capability to regenerate.
Harvoni and its’ earlier counterparts like Sovaldi and Olysio have been changing and saving lives and life insurance underwriters are embracing that. If you have questions or would like me to shop your life insurance with Hepatitis C (or anything else), call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.