A diagnosis of HIV or AIDS can change your life in profound ways. For many people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, one big concern is how to make sure your family is provided for in case something happens to you.
Buying life insurance may go on your to-do list because you want to ensure that your loved ones receive a death benefit when you are gone so they can continue to maintain their standard of living.
This guide to life insurance for HIV-positive people or people with AIDS can help you to be proactive in taking the steps that you need to get covered.
On this page:
- How Does Life Insurance Factor In?
- How Does HIV or AIDS Affect the Cost of a Life Insurance Policy?
- What Policies Are Available for People With HIV or AIDS?
- How to Get a Good Life Insurance Policy with HIV or AIDS
How Does Life Insurance Factor In?
Purchasing a life insurance policy is a responsible and caring choice because a death can lead to high funeral expenses, not to mention the loss of your income and any services you provided to your family that they may need to pay for after you are gone.
There are different American life insurance options including term life insurance, whole life, and universal life insurance. Having a medical exam is part of the process to get individual life insurance or group life insurance in most cases.
>> Read More: How to Get Life Insurance With No Medical Exam
Unfortunately, it can be very costly to buy life insurance after a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS—and some insurers may not be willing to provide you with coverage at all because you are viewed as being high-risk.
You need to understand your options for getting covered by life insurance companies and should shop around carefully to find the right policy and insurance products for you.
How Does HIV or AIDS Affect the Cost of a Life Insurance Policy?
Buying life insurance with HIV or AIDS is more difficult and more expensive due to the underwriting process. The life insurance underwriting process involves an assessment of risk.
Insurers want to know the likelihood that you’ll die while you are covered because your death means the company has to pay out the death benefit. Insurance companies such as Prudential and Mutual of Omaha look at many factors in assessing the likelihood you’ll pass away, including your age, gender, and any serious health conditions.
Both HIV and AIDS increase mortality rates, though the mortality rates are much higher for people with AIDS than with HIV. It is important to note that because of advancements in treatment, having HIV isn’t necessarily a death sentence like it was at one point.
Even so, because there is a greater chance of you passing away and the insurer having to pay out, insurers may deny you life insurance coverage, or they may give you a policy but charge you much higher premiums to account for the increased risk the insurance company is taking.
Taking steps to try to improve your health—such as following a treatment plan involving using drugs to prevent HIV from turning into AIDS—can help you to find an insurer willing to offer you an affordable policy.
Still, you will undoubtedly face challenges, and many people whose condition has progressed to AIDS will not be able to get a standard life insurance policy at all as a result of the high mortality rate and short life expectancy of AIDS patients.
What Policies Are Available for People With HIV or AIDS?
If you have advanced HIV or if you have been diagnosed with AIDS, you should not give up on trying to get life insurance to provide a death benefit for the people you care about. You do have options for obtaining at least some coverage.
One option is a graded death benefit policy that phases in eligibility for the death benefit the insurance policy pays out. For example, the insurance policy may have a $100,000 death benefit.
With a graded benefit policy, your beneficiaries might receive only 25% of that or $25,000 in the first year that you are covered. In year two, the amount your beneficiaries are eligible for could go up to 50% of the benefit, or $50,000. By year three, your beneficiaries could be entitled to 75% or $75,000. Finally, after a full four years of coverage, your loved ones would be entitled to the full $100,000 death benefit.
While most people should be approved for a graded death benefit policy, you want to be realistic about whether you will live long enough to earn the full benefit for your family and whether you will live long enough to make paying premiums worthwhile.
Thanks to medical advances, many people with HIV will live much longer than four years, and these policies can make sense. But, for those with AIDS, your life expectancy may not be long enough to justify paying premiums for a policy when your family is unlikely to get the full benefits.
Another plan in terms of life insurance options to consider is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. With these policies, the insurance company gives you coverage regardless of medical history or your condition.
The death benefit is typically capped on a guaranteed issue policy, so you won’t be able to get a ton of coverage, but you can make sure your loved ones have some money after you have passed on. The policy should provide at least enough cash to cover funeral costs and some basic expenses after your death.
How to Get a Good Life Insurance Policy With HIV or AIDS
To improve your chances of getting a good life insurance policy after an HIV or AIDS diagnosis, you should be certain to follow all your doctor’s instructions and develop a treatment plan. This is especially important if your HIV has not progressed into AIDS.
If your HIV is well-controlled by medication and you are otherwise healthy, you stand a much better chance of getting a standard life insurance policy at a reasonable cost. You should be prepared to provide medical records and answer pertinent health questions to show that you are in good health despite having a serious virus.
You should also compare options from different life insurance companies carefully, as some insurers may be more willing than others to insure people with HIV or AIDS at a reasonable cost. It may be that getting coverage will mean very high life insurance premiums if you have HIV or AIDS, so carefully compare life insurance quotes and life insurance rates.
You Can Get Life Insurance With HIV or AIDS
Wanting to protect your loved ones by buying life insurance is an honorable goal, and it is one you should definitely try to fulfill after a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS.
You can find coverage, even if it is only a small guaranteed issue policy, and you should keep looking for the right insurer to provide for your family after you are gone.
Take steps to improve your health to maximize the chances of getting covered and start shopping for a policy today, as it may take time to find a company in the insurance industry that will provide the protection your family deserves at a cost you can afford.