Until today I have had to point anyone HIV positive to the guaranteed issue life insurance market. Over the past 15 years we have seen huge strides in the treatment of HIV and with medical advances the ability to fully control it. For those of us who have been around for the full life of the HIV/AIDS epidemic here in our country we remember all too well the time when HIV positive led to AIDS that led to death. While there won’t be a lot of insurance companies jumping on this bandwagon, I’ve lived long enough to tell you that fully underwritten life insurance for HIV+ is going to be approved.
That’s the good news. The other good news is that with the modern treatment of HIV being so successful, the thresholds for qualifying for approval are such that a very large number of people will qualify. The only bad news is at this point we can only get up to $1 million in coverage per applicant. Let’s start with the basic underwriting guidelines and then move on to an ideal scenario, the perfect client if you will.
1. HIV+ diagnosis was made 3 or more years prior to application
2. Client has received Anti-retroviral treatment consistently for 3 or more years
3. Viral load is undetectable
4. CD4 lymphcyte count is within normal range. Baseline CD4 and nadir will be requested as part of the pre application process.
5. Client has NO history of Hepatitis C
6. Client has NO history of IV drug use
7. No history of AIDS defining illness
So there’s the basics. Anyone who has HIV or doctors that treat it know that these are not criteria that strangle the chances of anyone qualifying. More correctly there should be a lot of well controlled HIV patients out there that fit nicely. So I asked the underwriter to paint a perfect client picture for me. Perfect is the criteria above plus;
1. Client was diagnosed between the ages of 20-39
2. Client has been HIV positive for 5 or more years, with consistent and compliant treatment documented. Serial blood work and medical surveillance is well documented.
3. CD4 count was HIGH at the time of diagnosis. (Note: CD4 count between 200-500 is consider the intermediate phase; CD4 count less than or equal to 200 increases the risk of AIDS related opportunistic infections/cancers). The CD4 nadir (lowest value) is predictive for long term mortality.
4. Client’s viral load is low at time of diagnosis.
5. Routine blood work, including renal and liver functions, is consistently normal.
6. Hepatitis B surface antigen is negative
7. Client is a NON-smoker (there is a significant increase in mortality associated with smoking and HIV+ patients)
8. If HIV virus was contracted from unprotected sexual contact, client is currently practicing safe-sex and/or is in a monogamous relationship. Client’s lifestyle does not lend itself to exposure to Hepatitis or STD’s. (Client is not regularly treated for non-HIV sexually transmitted infections)
9. Client has no signs of early coronary artery disease or renal disease.
Bottom line. Please understand the difference between a month ago and now. This is fully underwritten term life insurance of HIV positive clients. It isn’t going to work for everyone with HIV, but for those for whom it works this is finally a chance to have the amount of life insurance you need as opposed to the small amounts that guaranteed issue offers. This is the chance for HIV positive business people to finally get the business life insurance they need. This is the chance for HIV positive professionals, from sports to entertainment to find the approval that their compliance to treatment deserves. This is a chance for gay couples where one or both are HIV positive to get the life insurance they’ve never been able to get. If you have questions or need quotes, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.