Health & Medicine

Monday, 30 November 2015 15:45

HIV and affordable life cover

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In little more than a decade, modern medicine has turned the outcomes of many serious illnesses upside down.  Ten years ago a heart attack may have been fatal.  HIV would have been a death sentence.  Cancer would almost always have been terminal.

Fast forward to today and we see how many serious illnesses that would previously have been considered killers can now be treated and managed. Take HIV for example.  Between 1988 and 1995, 78% of people infected with HIV died from causes directly attributed to AIDS. By 2009, that figure dropped to less than 5% and today, if a person living with HIV begins antiretroviral medication early, they are expected to have a normal life span.

According to Hollard Life, with so many positive developments in the treatment and management of the disease, the reality is that being HIV+ no longer means you won’t be able to get life insurance, especially if you’re serious about managing your health and treatment. Hollard Life was the first to provide life, critical illness and disability cover for HIV+ clients in 1999.

“With 16 years of experience behind us, our data proves that HIV+ people are living longer, healthier lives than scientists ever imagined possible back in the 1980s. The reality is that the insurance industry has lagged in providing products informed by medical developments to stay relevant with modern health and lifestyle trends. Most other insurers only started to offer cover to people living with HIV in the last two to three years,” explains Hayley Taylor, managing underwriter at Hollard Life.   

While more insurers are now offering cover to people living with HIV, they often vary significantly when it comes to price, benefits, exclusions and compliance requirements.  Hollard Life provides the following helpful tips when applying for cover:

  • - Regardless of who you take your insurance with, they’ll want to be sure that you strictly comply with your ARV programme.
  • - Always check that the cover offered is for your entire lifetime.  Some insurers may only provide cover for a fixed period, which means you will need to re-apply for cover after the period is up. You might then have to pay more because you’ll be older or you could end up being declined if your health has deteriorated.
  • - Check whether you have to provide proof of ongoing compliance with a treatment programme, and whether this is at your cost.

Finally, when it comes to financial planning with an existing health condition, an experienced, professional financial advisor is a must.  An advisor has the knowledge of different insurers to compare so that you get the best possible cover, at the right price, ensuring that you and your family are taken care of through all of life’s ups and downs.

Published in Health and Medicine

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