How To Get HIV Life Insurance in 2024

min read
Updated: 17 May 2024
Written by
Bob Phillips
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If you’re living with HIV and wondering about your life insurance options, you’ve come to the right place. The world of insurance can be complex, but rest assured, we’re here to help you get a handle on it. This article is intended to demystify HIV life insurance, offering you clear, comprehensive information and guiding you to make the best decision for your situation.

Medical advancements and a deeper understanding of HIV have significantly altered the insurance landscape. Today, many insurers offer both term and whole life insurance options for individuals living with HIV. We’ll explore these options, qualifying for life insurance, coverage details, and more to help you understand how to secure the best plan for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance for HIV positive individuals is available

  • Underwriting for people with HIV can be more complex and lengthier

  • Premiums are usually higher for HIV life insurance

Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have HIV?

Yes, it is possible for people living with HIV to get life insurance coverage. This was not always the case, but thanks to significant medical advancements and a deeper understanding of HIV, the insurance industry’s position has changed over the years. A number of leading insurers (detailed below) now offer both term and whole life insurance options for individuals living with HIV.

While it’s promising that life insurance options exist for those with an HIV-positive diagnosis, the reality is that not all insurers offer this coverage, and some may even deny it. However, this doesn’t mean that life insurance is completely out of reach. Several insurance companies have recognized the need and are offering policies designed specifically for those living with HIV.

Important: Life insurance for HIV is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Does HIV Affect Life Insurance Eligibility?

While traditional life insurance may not be fully accessible to everyone living with HIV, there are insurance companies that offer specialized products. These companies provide traditional life policies for HIV-positive applicants who demonstrate that they’re properly managing their disease. In addition, people with HIV may also qualify for guaranteed issue or group life insurance.

Individuals living with HIV should research and understand the specifics involved when looking for coverage. It might be challenging, but the financial protection these policies can provide is invaluable. If you are diagnosed with HIV after already having an active life insurance policy, your policy cannot be canceled due to the diagnosis. This underlines the importance of securing a life insurance policy as soon as possible.

Important: A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you’re diagnosed with HIV after the policy has been issued.

How To Qualify For Life Insurance With HIV

To qualify for life insurance for HIV, insurers typically require proof that you’re managing your condition effectively. According to the CDC, this generally involves providing medical records demonstrating a stable CD4 count and undetectable viral load, evidence of regular follow-ups with your healthcare provider, and adherence to your prescribed antiretroviral therapy. Other factors such as age, overall health status, lifestyle choices like smoking, and family medical history will also be considered.

Presenting a persuasive application will help when trying to qualify for life coverage with HIV. Demonstrate that you’re not just living with HIV, but thriving despite it. Highlight your commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and abstinence from harmful habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For HIV Positive Individuals

By understanding the underwriting process, it’s entirely possible to secure a policy that suits your needs. Here are the five key steps involved in the underwriting process for HIV-positive individuals:

  1. Medical Examination: This is the first step in the underwriting process. You’ll undergo a medical examination where the insurer will assess your overall health status, focusing on your HIV management.
  2. Review of Medical History: The insurer will request access to your medical history. They’re particularly interested in your CD4 count and viral load over time.
  3. Lifestyle Evaluation: Insurers will review your lifestyle habits, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use. A healthy lifestyle can positively influence your application.
  4. Risk Assessment: Based on the data collected, the insurer will determine the level of risk associated with insuring you. This assessment will directly impact the cost of your premiums.
  5. Policy Issuance: If you pass the underwriting process, the insurance company will offer coverage. Depending on the results of the risk assessment, this may come with higher premiums or certain exclusions.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider When You’re Applying With HIV?

When you’re applying for life insurance as an individual living with HIV, it’s important to understand that insurers will take a detailed look at several key factors.

First, they’ll want to see evidence of effective disease management. They’ll likely request access to your medical records to review your CD4 count. If these numbers show that your condition is well-managed and stable, it could work in your favor.

Additionally, lifestyle habits play a prominent role in the underwriting process. Insurers will assess your overall health and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use. A healthy lifestyle contributes positively to your application. Your age, gender, and family medical history will also be taken into account.

Best Type Of Life Insurance For People With HIV

Several types of life insurance are available, each offering different benefits and drawbacks.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance provides lifelong coverage and has a cash value component that grows over time. For individuals with HIV, this type of policy can be advantageous because it offers guaranteed death benefits and doesn’t expire. However, it typically comes with higher premiums than term life insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance covers you for a specific period, usually between 10 to 35 years. This type of policy is often less expensive than whole life insurance, making it a good option for individuals with HIV who are on a budget but still want substantial coverage.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final expense life insurance, also known as burial or funeral insurance, is designed to cover end-of-life expenses. These policies typically have easier underwriting requirements, which can be beneficial for individuals with HIV who may struggle to qualify for other types of insurance.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance offers coverage to almost anyone, regardless of health status. This type of policy could be a viable option for individuals with HIV who have been denied coverage elsewhere. However, it usually comes with higher premiums and lower coverage amounts.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is often provided by employers as part of a benefits package. For individuals with HIV, this can be an excellent way to secure coverage without the underwriting process typical of individual policies.

Important: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with HIV. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.

4 Best Life Insurance Companies For People With HIV

I believe these are the four best life insurance companies for individuals who are HIV positive:

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Banner Life Insurance is recognized as one of the leading life insurance providers in the industry, particularly for individuals living with HIV. The company has built a solid reputation for offering competitively priced policies, accommodating high-risk individuals, and providing substantial coverage options. They have consistently received superior ratings from A.M. Best, indicating their financial stability and ability to meet policyholder claims obligations.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers some of the most affordable rates in the industry
  • Underwrites policies for high-risk individuals, including those living with HIV
  • High coverage amounts of $100,000 up to more than $10 million
Drawbacks
  • Primarily offers term life insurance, limiting options for those seeking whole life or universal life coverage
  • The underwriting process can be rigorous and may require extensive medical history and lifestyle information
  • Any changes to the policy after it's issued can incur fees
Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Transamerica is highly regarded and offers a variety of policies, making it a top choice for individuals living with HIV. The company is known for its diverse range of cost-effective options and flexibility, accommodating the unique needs of high-risk individuals. Transamerica’s underwriting process is also favorable for high-risk applicants. It’s designed to assess each applicant’s situation individually, making them more likely to offer coverage to individuals with HIV.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers both term and whole life insurance options
  • Well-established company with a solid reputation in the life insurance industry
  • Provides flexibility in terms of payment options, coverage amounts, and policy adjustments
Drawbacks
  • Increases in rates in other areas of their insurance offerings suggest potential for future increases in life insurance rates
  • Some customers report issues with customer service
  • May have limited claims experience related to HIV
Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Mutual of Omaha is a top-rated life insurance provider for individuals living with HIV. The company stands out due to its commitment to providing comprehensive life insurance options, even for high-risk individuals. In addition to its standard coverage types, Mutual of Omaha also offers a guaranteed issue policy, which is particularly beneficial for many applicants with HIV who have been declined by other companies.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers up to $25,000 in whole life coverage without a medical exam
  • Its whole life policies offer lifelong coverage and fixed premiums
  • Known for its reliable customer service and easy claim process
Drawbacks
  • The guaranteed issue policy only offers up to $25,000 in coverage
  • Guaranteed issue premiums can be higher compared to other types of insurance
  • Limited options for those seeking term or universal life coverage
Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

8/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Brighthouse Financial offers a range of products tailored to fit diverse needs, making it an excellent choice for individuals living with HIV. The company’s mission to help people achieve financial security extends to offering term life insurance and other options for high-risk individuals. Their commitment to providing life insurance for HIV has helped set them apart in the life insurance industry.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers a variety of life insurance products, providing flexibility for individuals with HIV
  • Trusted by over 2 million customers
  • "A" (Excellent) financial rating by AM Best
Drawbacks
  • Limited information is available regarding their policies for individuals with HIV
  • Potential for higher premiums
  • Some customers have reported issues with customer service

How To Buy Life Insurance If You Have HIV

Following these four steps will simplify buying life insurance for HIV:

  1. Research Your Options: Start by researching life insurance companies that offer policies for individuals living with HIV. Some insurers offer both term and whole life insurance options, so it’s important to understand the differences and decide which is best for you.
  2. Understand the Underwriting Process: Be aware that most life insurance applications will require you to disclose your HIV status. The underwriting process might be more intensive and could potentially lead to higher premiums.
  3. Consider Employer or Group Coverage: If available, consider group life insurance options through your employer. These policies often provide coverage regardless of health conditions, including HIV.
  4. Apply for Coverage: Once you’ve chosen a company and policy that fits your needs, complete the application process. This may include filling out detailed health questionnaires and undergoing a medical examination (unless you opt for a no medical exam life insurance policy).

Can Insurance Companies Deny You Coverage For Having HIV?

There are circumstances in which carriers may deny coverage. This often happens when the applicant hasn’t disclosed their HIV status during the application process or if the individual’s health condition is assessed as too risky.

It’s worth noting that medical advancements have significantly improved the treatment for HIV, leading to increased life expectancy and, consequently, a shift in how insurance providers view insurability for people living with HIV. In some regions, there are even laws in place to prevent insurers from denying coverage based on an HIV-positive test result.

Life Insurance Options If You Are Denied Coverage

If traditional life insurance isn’t an option, individuals living with HIV can consider alternative coverage types. One option is a graded death benefit policy, which gradually increases eligibility for the death benefit over time. Guaranteed issue policies are also an option offered by several companies.

Additionally, group life insurance through an employer often provides coverage regardless of health conditions, including HIV. Last, there are specialized services like Insuranceopedia, which assist individuals living with HIV in shopping for life insurance by providing quotes from multiple trusted carriers.

Note: Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.

What If You Are Diagnosed With HIV After Taking Out A Policy?

Your life insurance policy is a binding contract, and once it’s in effect, the terms can’t be changed by the insurer. This means that if you’re diagnosed with HIV after taking out a life insurance policy, your coverage remains intact. Your premiums will not increase, nor can your policy be canceled due to the diagnosis.

Tips For Choosing The Right Policy

Here are three tips that can shorten your search:

  1. Know Your Needs: Understand your financial needs. Factor in debt, income replacement, and future expenses.
  2. Explore Policy Types: Consider graded death benefit policies and guaranteed issue insurance. They’re designed for people living with HIV. Group life insurance often covers you regardless of health conditions.
  3. Use Specialized Services: Use services like Insuranceopedia, which provides multiple quotes to help you compare rates and find an affordable, suitable policy.

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

When you apply for life insurance, insurers evaluate your health status to determine the risk they’re taking on. Here’s a list of 17 common health conditions that can significantly impact your life insurance policy:

  1. HIV/AIDS: With advancements in treatment, many insurers now offer policies to HIV-positive individuals
  2. Heart Disease: A common condition that can lead to higher premiums or denial of coverage
  3. Cancer: Depending on the type and stage, cancer can affect insurability
  4. Diabetes: Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can increase premium rates
  5. High Blood Pressure: Well-managed hypertension may have less impact on your policy
  6. High Cholesterol: Can lead to higher premiums if not well-controlled
  7. Obesity: Higher BMI can result in increased insurance costs
  8. Asthma: Depending on the severity, asthma can influence insurance premiums
  9. Depression: Mental health conditions like depression can also impact coverage
  10. Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions can significantly affect insurability
  11. Stroke: Having a history of stroke can increase premium rates
  12. Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease can lead to higher insurance costs
  13. Liver Disease: Conditions like cirrhosis can affect your life insurance policy
  14. Lung Disease: Chronic conditions like COPD can increase premiums
  15. Sleep Apnea: This condition can lead to higher insurance rates if not well-managed
  16. Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug or alcohol abuse can impact insurability
  17. Rheumatoid Arthritis: This chronic condition can lead to increased premiums

FAQs

Do people with HIV qualify for life insurance?

They can. Some, but not all, life insurance companies will issue policies to individuals who are HIV positive.

What insurance is best for HIV?

In many cases, a guaranteed issue policy is the best life insurance for people with HIV.

Is HIV classed as a critical illness in insurance?

Generally, no. However, some insurers may classify it as a critical illness if you are diagnosed with HIV after the policy was issued.

Sources

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