What a slow, slow dance this has been trying to find a company, wait for a company, invent a company…that would take the HIV+ life insurance market seriously. At last count we have been through six big name companies that have sworn they were in the HIV+ life insurance business “for real” and to date four of those six have bailed completely and the two that are still claiming to be in the business, well, they aren’t really. Both have reasonable underwriting criteria and both will not discuss the reasons for declines when they happen.
A client, after careful scrutiny of their medical records, can appear to be a poster child for the underwriting guidelines and yet be declined. Both companies refuse to discuss the reason for the declines citing the sensitive nature of the applicant’s health.Well, give us a break. If we already know about HIV, aren’t we a little past knowing sensitive information already?
But good news!! Not that John Hancock and Prudential aren’t big players in the overall scheme of things, but a huge player has entered, in a very genuine and formidable way, the contest to win the business of the healthy, well controlled HIV+ clients needing life insurance. How genuine? Unlike the aforementioned companies this new player is going to retain all the risk. Each of the six companies before them were going to let reinsurance companies carry the risk. And formidable? All of the companies before capped their offering at $1 million or $2 million. Some offered only permanent products and a few offered both term and permanent. This new HIV+ life insurance provider will offer both term and permanent and will allow up to $10 million. They aren’t in this to play around. They are in it to capture the best of the best HIV+ life insurance business. Oh, and did I mention that it will be at about half or less the price of what Pru and Hancock are offering.
So, let’s talk HIV+ life insurance underwriting guidelines. Our estimates are that these guidelines apply to nearly half a million people. They are tough, but no tougher than what has been seen before, and fair.
- Self disclosed diagnosis
- Compliant with antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least two consecutive years
- Followed by an HIV or infectious disease specialist minimally every six months
- Undetectable viral load since starting ART, minimally 2 years
- CD4 of 500 or more for the past two years and never below 350
- Current negative Hep B&C testing and no history of hepatitis
- No viral resistance to treatment
- No history of IV drug use or other substance abuse
- No history of other ratable health issues such as CAD, diabetes, cancer or protein in the urine
- No significant psychiatric history
- Not underweight or losing weight, normal protein levels
- No AIDS defining illness
- No smokers
I mentioned that the pricing from this life insurance carrier was about half of what Pru and Hancock are offering. Examples would be a 40 year old male getting $1 million of 20 year term for about $300 a month and a 35 year old a little over $220 a month. The minimum face amount for term insurance is $500,000 and the minimum for permanent is $50,000.
Bottom line. This is the first serious offering in the HIV+ market EVER. Those of you who have followed this forum for many of the 10 years it’s been live know that I have beat this subject to death, been fired by insurance companies that don’t take the market seriously to my rather loud disgust, and generally have been a thorn in the side of the industry with this day as one of my goals. I have more HIV+ life insurance clients than any other agent in the country and am ready to lead the charge into this next chapter. If you have questions, please review the criteria carefully and the pricing, and then call or email if you believe you’re a fit. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.