Improvements in life insurance underwriting have taken major steps forward with a number of companies now willing to consider life insurance for those who are HIV positive.
When Prudential announced their life insurance program to offer coverage to those who are HIV positive, we were very excited.
Finally, there was a quality company available that would consider offering term life insurance if you are HIV positive. In the past, the only coverage available was a permanent life insurance policy, with the cost being prohibitive due to the underwriting rates being assigned.
John Hancock offers life insurance to HIV positive
This is a tremendous breakthrough to have another competitive life insurance company offering coverage. HIV life insurance offerings from multiple companies has tremendous benefits to consumers and should ultimately create better pricing in the market for you.
We have placed business through the Prudential program, and are now revisiting with our clients to see if John Hancock offers a better program.
My initial review leads me to believe that John Hancock has significant advantages over the Prudential program from a pricing, processing and underwriting standpoint.
For you the consumer, this may result in substantial savings for you. Both companies are quality companies with great ratings.
What Should You Do if You Already Bought Prudential?
You should keep that policy in place and contact us. I’ll re-shop the market for you to John Hancock, and if they offer a better option to you, you may choose to replace the Prudential policy and accept John Hancock.
What if I already paid the premium?
Most companies, including Prudential allow you to cancel the term life policy and receive a refund of the unused portion of the premium….I’ll walk you through the steps to do this.
What if I haven’t applied yet?
Contact me first. I’ll complete an initial review with you of the guidelines for both the John Hancock and Prudential programs. If eligible for both programs, we’ll manage the process for you with both companies, let them battle it out in underwriting and help you place the life insurance with the company that offers the best rate to you.
Underwriting Guidelines for HIV Positive
Prudential’s underwriting guidelines are as follows:
- Available to insureds between the ages of 30-60
- Lowest ever recorded CD4 count must be greater than 200.
- Most recent CD4 count must be 350 or greater and must be within the past 6 months.
- Viral load less than 200 copies/ml
- The HIV virus was not acquired via blood transfusions or IV drug use.
- No history of AIDS defining condition
- More than 1 year since HIV diagnosis
- Greater than 6 months since Antiretroviral Therapy has started if being treated.
- No hepatitis B or C
- Free of TB or Non-TB mycobacterial infection
- Applicant must be permanent U.S. resident
John Hancock Underwriting Guidelines:
- Available to insureds between the ages of 30-65
- Compliant with antiretroviral treatment for at least 5 years
- Viral load undetectable for the last 2 years
- Current CD4 count equal to or greater than 350
- No history of IV drug use or substance abuse history
- No history of AIDS defining condition
- No history of Hepatitis B or C
There are other requirements for each program that we will discuss with you, but the above is the gist of each program.
HIV Life Insurance Underwriting
Prudential Underwriting Process:
The Prudential underwriting process is fatally flawed, and it would surprise me if Prudential does not change how they handle life insurance applications at some point sooner than later. The Prudential program forces high risk life insurance experts such as myself to use the Aequalis program. Aequalis in turn outsources the process to a call center called InsureNow, which in turn is part of Crump Life Insurance.
In a typical high risk life insurance case, we would work directly with the insurance company or a brokerage to complete your life insurance….in the Prudential program, 2 extra layers (Aequalis and InsureNow) are added to the process, and as a side note they take 50% of the compensation I would normally receive.
I personally expressed these concerns to the CEO of Aequalis but they are in a tough spot as well. They invested millions in their program, and John Hancock is now competing against them with what looks like a superior opportunity.
John Hancock Underwriting Process
First and foremost, I am now 100% in control of the process with John Hancock. It makes a huge difference when I am able to advocate on your behalf vs. having a call center manage your application.
The first step is for you and I to have a conversation about coverage and to see if you meet the initial guidelines for their program. I’ll qualify you for both the John Hancock and Prudential programs on the same call.
We’ll discuss potential pricing, the underwriting process, etc. We’ll have you sign off on some authorizations and will then start the process of obtaining your medical records from physicians. Once records are received, I will package and submit them to John Hancock on an informal basis. I have personally spoken with members of this underwriting team that is managing the John Hancock HIV program and will submit to this team.
If they are satisfied with the review of your records, we will submit a formal application to underwriting and have you complete the required paramed exam.
Upon approval, we will send you the policy for your review and completion of delivery documents.
Prudential Products Offered:
Prudential is offering term life insurance up to a maximum face amount of $2,500,000.
You have a choice of a 10 or 15 year term life insurance policy.
Prudential offers 2 term life insurance products for sale – the Term Essential and the Term Elite products.
We’ll review the full benefits of each when we discuss. The Term Essential offers lower pricing, while the Term Elite offers a better conversion privilege and a possible premium credit to permanent life insurance products.
In terms of underwriting rates to expect, Prudential will consider a “standard table 8” rating. If you look at “standard” rate for life insurance, a table 8 rating adds approximately 200% to the standard rate. In addition to the table rating, an additional expense called a flat extra add $250 per every $100,000 of coverage you consider.
When we discuss coverage, we will provide quotes for both the Term Essential and Term Elite products for you.
John Hancock Products Offered:
John Hancock offers their term life insurance and permanent life insurance products to you. We can look at all options for you to decide which option is best for you.
Coverage amounts available up to $2,000,000.
It is great to see 2 leaders in the life insurance industry step up and offer coverage. We expect more companies will develop programs and make coverage available. As companies become available, we plan to revise our product offerings to you.