What if I’m HIV Positive – Can I Get Insurance?

A diagnosis of being HIV+ was once considered impossible to get insurance, but not anymore. Individuals with this virus, as distinct to AIDS, are living much longer thanks to the advent of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), but as yet there is no cure.

So, it an Insurable Condition?

It is evolving to an insurable condition but regardless of recent treatment success, it remains a complex disease.  Producing insurance products is a challenging task for insurers.

HIV-infected people still experience a higher rate of non-AIDS-related deaths and illnesses than the general population.  Hepatitis is a common medically related issue, as are cardiovascular, cancer and liver diseases.

Applying for Insurance and How to Improve my Chances

Obviously, you must tell the insurer you have the virus but also any other health-related issues.  The application process will take longer to assess the severity of your condition.  Irrelevant detail like your sexual orientation will not be requested.

Evidence of adherence to your treatment and follow-up is very important.  How effective your medication is also a significant factor, as is your historical Current Viral Load and CD4 Counts.

For these reasons, being prepared with your medical history will improve your chances, so having a copy of your medical history held by your GP is advisable.

Are my Insurance Options Restricted?

Nowadays, life insurance should be available but for a Limited Term of 5-10 years.  This will depend on your CD4 Counts, unremarkable viral loads and no other health concerns.  But you can still expect to pay a higher amount for your cover, e.g. at least 3 times the standard premium.

Products like, Income Protection, Permanent Disablement, Trauma/Critical Illness and Health Insurance will not be available, or they may be offered excluding HIV-related conditions.

What if I Can’t Get Cover?

If cover is “Deferred”, the insurer may be waiting for some improvements.  If in doubt, check with other insurers and/or find someone who has a thorough understanding of HIV.

Check if your employer provides an Employee Benefit Scheme.  Unrestricted insurance covers will be available up to limited amounts.

Finally, some insurers offer death cover that doesn’t pay-out for the first 2 or 3 years and then full cover begins.  Amounts are typically less than $50,000 but better than no cover at all.


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