Life insurance is available if you have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and meet the underwriting requirements. Companies have made substantial progress with HIV life insurance underwriting over the past few years, and the result is that we now have a number of life insurers available to you.
This guide for life insurance with HIV covers the following:
- How does HIV affect life insurance?
- Key factors considered when underwriting life insurance for HIV
- Can I get life insurance if I was declined due to HIV?
- What should I expect with HIV life insurance underwriting
- Are there companies that specialize in HIV life insurance?
- Prudential life insurance with HIV
- John Hancock life insurance with HIV
- Symetra life insurance with HIV
- AXA life insurance with HIV
- Companies that are not underwriting HIV positive
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 1,200,000 people living with HIV in the U.S. Our goal is to help you find life insurance options available to you.
How does HIV affect life insurance?
Until just a few years ago, there were no U.S. based life insurance companies that would consider life insurance for HIV positive. What changed in the market is that several studies completed over the past few years developed criteria to assess the risk of life insurance for someone with HIV, providing life expectancy data that rivaled other chronic health conditions.
The result is that there are now a few life insurers willing to consider life insurance for HIV if you meet the strict underwriting criteria that has been established.
Key Factors Considered When Underwriting Life Insurance with HIV
Yes, you can get life insurance with HIV if you meet the criteria that life insurers require, such as:
- Age at time of diagnosis
- CD4 levels – at time of diagnosis, historical and lowest recorded CD4.
- Viral loads when diagnosed, at start of treatment and current viral loads.
- Medications – Medication history and compliance with medication regimen.
- Medical History – Underwriting becomes increasingly difficult with any history of cancer, heart conditions, liver disease or significant psychiatric health problems.
Can I get life insurance if I was declined due to HIV?
Yes, people living with HIV may now qualify for life insurance even if you were declined in the past. It’s important for us to know upfront about your prior life insurance applications, especially if you were declined by carriers that specialize in HIV life insurance underwriting.
Were you declined by the actual HIV life insurance program or were you declined prior to the company having a program in place?
We’ll review the options available for you and will help you figure out the best game plan moving forward.
What should I expect with HIV life insurance underwriting?
Life insurance underwriting for HIV is difficult and filled with obstacles along the way. With that being said, if you meet the underwriting criteria, we believe it’s worth the time to apply for life insurance.
HIV life insurance underwriting involves the following steps:
- Do you meet all criteria of the company you wish to apply to?
- Application – Some companies require a formal application for consideration, while others require an informal submission of medical records first for review.
- Paramed exam – A paramed consisting of height, weight, blood pressure checks, blood and urine samples, resting ekg (depending on age) and detailed health questions are required.
- Medical records – As part of underwriting, we’ll obtain all medical records for review.
- Underwriting Decision – If you qualify, underwriting will make an offer for you to consider and either accept of reject. If you are declined, underwriting will let you know.
- Time frame – Underwriting takes about 8 weeks to complete.
All life insurance companies require admission of HIV on the application, and the life insurance companies do test for HIV.
We’ll keep you updated as we progress through underwriting.
Are there companies that specialize in HIV life insurance?
Yes, there are HIV insurance companies that specialize in HIV underwriting. The following companies will consider life insurance:
Prudential Life Insurance with HIV
Prudential offers term life insurance with their program.
Term life insurance lengths available are a choice of 10 or 15 term.
Face Amounts of $100,000 – $2,500,000
The term life policies are convertible to universal life insurance at a later date, subject to the conversion rules in place for your individual policy.
Prudential HIV Positive Underwriting:
Prudential requires a self-identifying process as outlined in this document:
Living with HIV – Discussing Life Insurance – Click here for the guide or see below.
Prudential HIV underwriting criteria includes:
- You are age 30 to 60 years at time of application submission and in generally good health.
- You must reside in the United States. Applications written in Hawaii or Vermont will not be accepted due to state restrictions.
- The virus was not acquired via blood transfusion or intravenous drug use.
- It has been more than 1 year since HIV diagnosis and, if being treated, greater than six months since current Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) was initiated.
- Medical regimen has been stable for at least 6 months before application with a minimum of 2 recorded, acceptable CD4 counts and viral load results post medication change.
- Viral load is undetectable (< 200 copies/ml) and stable.
- CD4 count and viral load have been recorded within 6 months from time of application.
- CD4 count falls within these parameters:
- No history of CD4 count ever being < 200, including at time of initial diagnosis.
- CD4 count must be stable and > 500 for at least 1 year and with no physician plan to initiate treatment.
- A history of CD4 count < 200 is permitted if being successfully treated for more than five years.
- CD4 count must have been > 500 after the initiation of treatment. CD4 must currently be at least 350, and stable.
- You have no history of AIDS-defining condition. For more information, please visit the CDC
- You must be consistently compliant with your treating physician’s recommendations for follow-up care and routine testing for CD4 counts and viral loads.
- You are free of Hepatitis B / Free of Hepatitis C.
- You are free of Tuberculosis (TB) or Non-TB mycobacterial infection.
- Non-smokers only
In addition to the above criteria, if you have any other health issues, it’s important to let us know as it may affect availability of life insurance.
Prudential HIV Underwriting Offers
If coverage is available, the minimum rating offered by Prudential is a Table “H” rating (table ratings explained here) plus a flat extra expense of $250 per every $100,000 of coverage you consider.
So, how much will life insurance cost with HIV? The following charts provide some sample quotes.
The above sample monthly rates are for males, term essential 10 product quoted at standard table “H” rate plus flat extra of $2.50 per $1,000 of coverage. Rates as of 02/2018
The above sample monthly rates are for females, term essential 10 product quoted at standard table “H” rate plus flat extra of $2.50 per $1,000 of coverage. Rates as of 02/2018
John Hancock Life Insurance with HIV
John Hancock offers term life insurance and universal life insurance for HIV.
Face Amounts of $250,000 – $2,000,000
John Hancock HIV Underwriting
John Hancock takes a different approach to HIV+ life insurance underwriting. John Hancock requires that we submit an informal application and medical records upfront for review before proceeding to a formal application.
John Hancock HIV underwriting criteria includes:
- Age 30 – 65 at time of application.
- You must have been diagnosed with HIV more than 5 years ago.
- Treatment with anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for at least 5 years with no lapses or delays in treatment.
- Continuous monitoring with physician, checkups at least every 6 months.
- Undetectable viral load (less than 20 copies/ml) for at least 2 years.
- Current CD4 count must be equal to or greater than 350.
- Non-tobacco users only.
- No prior medical history of:
- AIDS-Defining illnesses
- Coronary artery disease
- Significant psychiatric conditions
- Hepatitis “B” or Hepatitis “C” (even if successfully treated)
- Resistence to antiretroviral treatment
- No alcohol or drug abuse history
John Hancock HIV Underwriting Offers
If life insurance for HIV positive is available from John Hancock, underwriting offers will require that table ratings be added plus and additional expense called a flat extra.
The underwriting offer range is a Table 6 – 12 range (table rating explanation) plus a flat extra expense of $200 per every $100,000 of coverage.
The above sample monthly rates are for males, 10 year term product quoted at standard table “D” (best case scenario) rate plus flat extra of $2.00 per $1,000 of coverage. Rates as of 02/2018
The above sample monthly rates are for females, 10 year term product quoted at standard table “D” (best case scenario) rate plus flat extra of $2.00 per $1,000 of coverage. Rates as of 02/2018
Symetra Life Insurance with HIV
Symetra offers universal life insurance. Symetra offers a no lapse guaranteed death benefit policy that allows you to dial in the duration of time you would like the coverage to last from 10 years to age 120.
While term life insurance is not available, the no lapse guaranteed products are very competitive when compared to term policies.
Face Amounts of $100,000 – $1,000,000
Symetra HIV Underwriting Criteria:
With Symetra, life insurance is available on a case by case basis, and requires reinsurance review. The following are general criteria:
- Insured must be age 35 or older.
- It has been more than 3 years since HIV diagnosis
- It must be more than 5 years since Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) was initiated and no lapses in treatment.
- Regular 6 month checkups with physician.
- Favorable CD4.
- Favorable Viral Load
- Non-smokers only
Symetra HIV Underwriting Offers
If life insurance is available from Symetra, underwriting offers will start at the Table 6 – 8 range and may require a flat extra expense of $200 per every $100,000 of coverage.
The following is just to give you a ballpark idea of pricing. It’s important to see the full illustration for any product you have interest in. We’ll provide to you when we speak.
We’ve found that Symetra pricing for permanent insurance is comparable or sometimes better priced than some of the term life insurance options of other carriers.
Symetra uses reinsurance companies as part of their program, and we’ve found Symetra to be competitive for most applicants.
The above sample monthly rates are for males, 10 year duration quoted at standard table “6” (best case scenario) rate plus flat extra of $2.00 per $1,000 of coverage. Rates as of 02/2018
AXA Life Insurance with HIV
AXA offers universal life insurance and whole life insurance. Term life insurance is not available.
Face Amounts – $100,000 – $10,000,000
AXA HIV Underwriting Criteria
The minimum underwriting criteria for AXA includes the following:
- Minimum age = 20
- Treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) for the last 3 years or longer
- Viral loads have been undetectable for the past 2.5 years or longer.
- Lowest Historical CD4 count was 500 or greater.
- Current CD4 count is 750 or greater
- Regularly scheduled checkups with physician every 3 months
- Patient is in total compliance with all medical regimens and follow-up monitoring.
- No History of AIDS defining illness
- No history of hepatitis
- No history of cancer
- No other significant health issues.
- Normal cognitive function with no psychiatric disorders.
- No history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Non-tobacco users
AXA HIV Underwriting Offers
Under Age 50 – The best case scenario is a Table “E” rating, which adds 125% to the standard rate class.
Age 50 or older – Table “D” (100% added to standard) is the best case scenario.
Other Life Insurers HIV Underwriting
The above companies represent the best options for life insurance currently.
The following companies may consider life insurance through a reinsurance arrangement on a case by case basis…the following companies use the same reinsurer.
The general guidelines include the following:
- Maximum coverage amount – $1,000,000 – $2,000,000
- Permanent insurance only – universal life or whole life if available
- Diagnosed greater than 5 years ago
- Anti-retroviral treatment for a minimum of 6 months
- Current viral load is undetectable
- CD4 is 500 or greater
While Brighthouse will consider life insurance for you, their product not longer fits the market as their maximum insurance rating is less than the minimum they would charge you here.
In addition, their policy requires a one time lump sum payment for all years.
Principal offers a number of universal life insurance policies that may be available to you depending on your age, coverage amount, state of residence, etc.
Principal’s universal life products include no lapse guaranteed products as well as cash value accumulating products.
While Minnesota Life will consider coverage, our experience with Minnesota has been negative and we would not recommend this company.
Important to note is that if companies like Symetra, Prudential, John Hancock and AXA will not offer coverage to you, Brighthouse, Principal and Minnesota will not either.
Companies that are not underwriting HIV positive
The following life insurance companies are not currently underwriting applications for those with HIV. While that may change in the future, here are the carriers that we’re aware of:
- Banner Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- Nationwide Life Insurance Company
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Protective Life Insurance Company
- Sagicor Life Insurance Company
- SBLI of Massachusetts
- United of Omaha Life Insurance Company
Check back often as these life insurers may change their underwriting guidelines in the future.
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Michael J Horbal is the owner of LifeInsuranceAdvisors.com, an independent life insurance agency specializing in high risk life insurance. Since 1998, Michael has helped thousands of consumers with their personal, business, and estate planning life insurance needs. Check out our life insurance blog for detailed articles to help you.