Most life insurance companies base their premiums off of how much of a risk they believe you to be. When you have health problems, your premiums are going to be higher – or the company might deny you coverage altogether. This can be very frustrating and concerning if you have a chronic health condition like HIV because you still want coverage to help your loved ones in case you do pass away. Making things even more complicated is the fact that a decent percentage of people who have HIV, around 18 percent, don’t know they have it, and this fact could be revealed in a life insurance medical exam. Luckily, you can get life insurance if you are HIV positive, although the process is going to be more difficult. Here’s what you need to know before applying.
How to Get Life Insurance With HIV
Only a few decades ago, it was virtually impossible to get health insurance if you had HIV or AIDS. However, times have changed and insurance companies are now taking steps to cater to a broader range of people. Unfortunately, you still won’t be able to get as much coverage financially if you have HIV, and your premiums are going to be higher. The best approach is to talk to an independent insurance agent, who can help you compare offerings from different companies and choose the best one for your needs.
What types of insurance are available?
There are a few different types of life insurance policies available for someone with HIV. These include:
- Critical illness life insurance. These policies are specifically designed for people with HIV and similar illnesses that are very dire. You may still have to take a medical exam in some cases, but the results won’t affect your premiums in the same way they would with other types of life insurance. There are certain companies that specialize in these types of high-risk life insurance plans, and they may be able to find ways to lower your premiums.
- Group employment life insurance. Some companies offer group life insurance policies to their employees, and the medical requirements are far less strict. This can be a good option if you can’t find life insurance coverage anywhere else.
- Guarantee issue life insurance. These are policies that can be issued to anyone, regardless of their health. They are relatively easy to get, however, the benefits are limited and premiums are quite high.
- Final expense life insurance. These policies are sometimes referred to as burial policies, and they are intended to be used to cover funeral costs. They are also much easier to get than other types of policies, so they are a good option if you are HIV positive. Some of these policies will ask about your health and others won’t, but you shouldn’t have to take a medical exam at all. While benefits are relatively low, this will give your loved ones the basic coverage they need in case you do pass away.
Tips For Getting Insurance With HIV
There are some things to consider if you have HIV and are trying to get insurance. When you have a chronic health condition, sometimes you need to get strategic in order to get the coverage that you need. Here are some helpful tips to maximize your coverage.
- If you had life insurance before you were diagnosed with HIV, make sure to keep that policy going. If it’s a term policy, renew it as soon as you can and don’t let it lapse. It is unlikely that you will ever get coverage that comprehensive again, so it’s important to hold onto it.
- If your life insurance provider does not ask you about your HIV status or any related questions, you are not required to disclose it to them. However, if they do ask you about it, it’s very important to be truthful. If you lie to them and they find out about it later, that could make it very difficult for you to get any coverage at all.
- If you are diagnosed with HIV and are currently healthy, try to get life insurance as soon as possible. Although your premiums will be higher than someone without HIV, companies will be much more willing to provide you with a reasonable insurance plan if you are otherwise healthy. With so many new drugs and technologies available for HIV, the chances of you living a long time are much higher than they used to be. If you do get insurance, you may be required to stick to a strict regime of therapy.
- It will likely take some time to find a policy if you are HIV positive, so you should start shopping around as soon as you can. Prudential and John Hancock are two notable life insurers who offer policies for people who are HIV positive, but there are some smaller companies that offer them as well.