When the most recent large life insurance company joined Prudential and John Hancock in the market for fairly underwritten life insurance for those with HIV, I decided to do a test on Google to see what kind of market there was. The response was huge, but with the lead in the advertising being “up to $10 million” for well controlled HIV+, the results were not what I expected.

I ran the Adwords advertising, the paid ads at the top of the page on a Google search, for 3 weeks and got on average 8 responses a day, about 150 all total. The problem was that, with 5 exceptions, the clients all wanted very small policies, $10,000 up to $25,000, and they wanted them at very low prices. The products offered by the companies involved didn’t offer anything small, policies or prices.

The alternative to larger policies, $100k and up for universal life and $500k and up for term life insurance when HIV is involved is “guaranteed issue life insurance”. The unfortunate truth about guaranteed issue life insurance is that even small policies have very high prices because, well, because most people that buy guaranteed issue don’t have another choice. They can’t get approved for traditional life insurance policies so they do what they can and buy what’s available. If it’s too expensive they go without. So, what does it cost with the most competitive traditional company? First let’s start with the criteria to be approved at their rates which are in most instances one half or less than Pru and Hancock.

  1. Self disclosed diagnosis, more than 2 and less than 10 years ago
  2. Compliant with antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least two consecutive years
  3. Followed by an HIV or infectious disease specialist minimally every six months
  4. Undetectable viral load since starting ART, minimally 2 years
  5. CD4 of 500 or more for the past two years and never below 350
  6. Current negative Hep B&C testing and no history of hepatitis
  7. No viral resistance to treatment
  8. No history of IV drug use or other substance abuse
  9. No history of other ratable health issues such as CAD, diabetes, cancer or protein in the urine
  10. No significant psychiatric history
  11. Not underweight or losing weight, normal protein levels
  12. No AIDS defining illness
  13. No smokers

For a 40 year old male that meets those criteria a $500,000 20 year term policy would be $1790 a year, about $150 a month. If that same person was diagnosed more than 10 years ago we would have to move them to a no lapse guarantee universal life. If they absolutely needed the $500,000, the price would be $5561 a year and would be guaranteed 40 years.

Bottom line. So, HIV life insurance is not cheap and it’s not easy since the process involves the client acquiring and providing their own medical records. I don’t know that traditional life insurance pricing will get any better than this for a while in the HIV market. As I predicted when companies first stuck their toe in these waters, prices have come down and come down substantially.  I think it will settle in at the prices I have described above for a while. If you have questions or need quotes, call or email me directly. My nameis Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.