Over all the years I’ve been in life insurance I’ve talked with dozens of people who were HIV+ and needed life insurance and the only thing I could offer them was guaranteed issue life insurance. Guaranteed issue is exactly what it says. If you’re big enough to pay the premium for a small amount of life insurance, they will issue the policy no health questions asked. The only upside is you might be able to get as much as $25,000 to $50,000 issued. The downside, well, there’s no death benefit for the first two to three years. If you died your beneficiary would only get back the premiums paid. It’s a whole life policy only so you don’t have the option of buying term insurance to keep the cost down. The cost, best case, will be so high that you would pay your own death benefit in 10-12 years. If you’re still alive and live for a while you get end up paying in much more than your death benefit, but all that your beneficiary would receive is the death benefit.
So, if you Google HIV positive life insurance, the first three pages all have links leading you to guaranteed issue life insurance including one, from 1997 (still on the first page) which talks about an offer from Guaranteed Trust Life where you could qualify for up to $50,000 for $300 a month. That’s $3600 a year and if my math is right that means you would pay for the death benefit in the first seven years. That was in 1997 and it’s still on the first page! But that is indicative of how slowly the life insurance industry can move until they see the green lights come one.
What I’m talking about here is the chance for a 35 year old HIV positive man or woman to be able to get approved for $1 million of 20 year term life insurance for less than that Guaranteed Trust Life $50,000 from 1997. Is there a catch? Just like all traditional life insurance you have to qualify and the company that is offering this has been able to offer very HIV positive clear guidelines that will lead to approval. Just an fyi, before I will start a formal application with anyone I will need to see documentation that the guidelines will be met. No flying under the radar and in this case you can’t get by with being close. An undetectable viral load has to show exactly that on your labs.
Before today the only HIV positive people with $1 million of life insurance had it before they were diagnosed. Early detection and great treatment has finally erased the stigma, not to mention the end result, of 30 years of HIV/AIDS. That detection and treatment has changed the HIV+ diagnosis from a certain death sentence in the early 80’s to 2013 when there are large numbers detected with HIV+ who will lead a full and normal life and mortality.
Bottom line. It is coincidental but timely that this offering comes at the same time that gay and lesbian couples are being recognized at least as legal civil unions, if not married. In the complicated world of life insurance insurable interest and medical releases this means two hurdles cleared at once. I would still recommend that anyone in a civil union, gay or otherwise, get a medical power of attorney as the beneficiary, something I have harped for years for all of those who have chosen not to be married. If you have questions or need any clarification on what it takes to qualify for this new life insurance offering, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.