Before all of you who have been cured by Harvoni jump on the phone expecting the life insurance results in the title of this blog post, let me throw a couple of * * up. Wait a minute. That looks like I said something bad. Let’s talk caveats to that best class approval.
I wrote a post not long after the earth was shattered by the news that there was a Hep C could in fact be cured, not just driven into remission, but cured. In that post I said that the life insurance industry would approach this news with caution because Harvoni was a super expensive drug and only approved by health insurance companies for those whose disease was advanced and often only when it had become life threatening. Remember that Hep C over time equals liver damage and that liver damage can lead to liver failure and death. I guessed that the life insurance companies would be wary because those who were cured were likely to have extensive liver damage and Harvoni stops the Hep C but doesn’t rebuild your liver.
Unknown to me at the time was that there was good news out there for those whose Hep C hadn’t done enough damage to warrant health insurance intervention. Support groups like Gilead offer deep discounts and even free treatment for those who have been denied treatment by their health insurance companies. One such client came my way a few weeks ago. He had been diagnosed with Hep C in 2006. He had undergone triple therapy with Teleprevir, Interferon and Ribavirin in 2011-2012 for six months. It cleared the virus but it came back. In 2015 he was able to get treatment with Harvoni through Gilead because his insurance company had denied coverage twice.
His Hep C was cured and he had not suffered any measurable liver damage. All liver functions since the treatment have been in the normal range. I wrote it up and sent it out to the top 20 impaired risk underwriters, “Male age 59, 5’11, 185 (lost 25 in last year), non smoker and non drinker. HCV grade 1, stage 1 diagnosed 2006. Likely contracted from tattoo in the 70’s. Treatment in 2015 with Harvoni. Cured. Triple therapy with Teleprevir, Interferon and Ribavirin in 2011-2012 for six months. Cleared the virus but it came back. Applied for free treatment through the support path at Gilead and was accepted because his insurance had denied him 2 times and he met the criteria. Criteria was being denied by personal insurance. Insurance denied because progression of HCV wasn’t sufficiently threatening. Biopsy showed no liver damage. Labs since Harvoni treatment normal for everything including lliver functions.”
Bottom line. While some life insurance companies chose to remain on the side lines, one company stepped forward noting fully cured with no liver damage and offered a best class rating. It doesn’t really throw the barn door wide open, but for those with no liver damage who manage to get the treatment and the cure, life insurance is available at great rates. As much as I hope for home runs that clear the walls and land in the next county, an in the park home run scores the same. If you have questions or would like to review your situation to see if it might garner a life insurance approval, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.