HIV and Life Insurance
We all know that we should have sufficient life insurance coverage in place to protect our loved once and those we care about, but many of us put off getting the coverage we need. Sometimes it is simply a refusal to face our own mortality, or to talk about unpleasant topics like death and dying. Other times there is a real fear that it will be impossible to buy life insurance at any price, and this kind of fear has prevented many people from getting the life insurance coverage needed to protect themselves and their families.
Nowhere is this fear greater than among those with HIV. The existence of any serious medical condition can greatly complicate the life insurance shopping process, and the fact that many still see HIV as a death sentence can make the barriers to coverage even greater.
It is important to realize, however, that more and more life insurance companies have been discovering that it is not only possible – but also quite profitable – to insure those infected with HIV. The new drugs on the market, coupled with the stunning advances into the treatment of the disease – means that a diagnosis of HIV infection is no longer the death sentence it once was.
In fact, many with HIV are now able to manage their disease quite successfully using a combination of modern drug therapies, dietary habits and lifestyle changes. This means that many of those diagnosed with HIV a decade or more ago are still leading rich, fulfilling – and long – lives. In some ways HIV is becoming more of a chronic health condition – more akin to diabetes and heart disease than an instant killer.
These changes in the treatment of HIV infection has led to similar changes in the way life insurance companies view those with the disease. While the rates charged to those with serious medical conditions – including HIV infection – will likely be higher than those charged to healthier applicants, there is insurance coverage available, and the premiums can be surprisingly affordable.
Even so it is important for those with specialized life insurance needs, including those afflicted with HIV, to shop carefully for the coverage they need. The rates charged by life insurers can vary quite widely, so it is important to gather as many quotes as possible. Comparing coverage levels and premiums carefully is the best way to get the most coverage for the lowest price, no matter what the state of your health.
It is also important to ask about any medical exam that may be required before coverage is offered. Some life insurance companies will require a thorough medical exam for all applicants, while others will not. Those who do not wish to undergo such an exam may want to look for a policy that does not require this step.
The bottom line is that while a diagnosis of HIV, or a history of HIV infection, will certainly complicate the life insurance shopping process they do not have to derail it. There is coverage available for those who need it – the key is to shop around and compare coverage options carefully.