In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being prescribed Atripla, a medication used to help treat those who have been exposed to the HIV virus.
For the purposes of this article…
It’s important to understand that Atripla is a single-tablet medication that consists of three drugs:
- Sustiva or Efavirenz,
- Viread or Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate,
- And Emtriva or Emtricitabine.
Each of these will have a significant effect on the outcome of one’s life insurance application once it is discovered during the application process.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been prescribed Atripla?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Atripla?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been prescribed Atripla?
Here’s a question that had you asked it just a few years ago, the answer would be categorically no! But now that new medications have been discovered, changing the prognosis of the disease from a terminal illness to a chronic yet manageable condition. As a result, some (but not all) life insurance companies are slowly beginning to consider exposure to HIV much more like being exposed to some other chronic conditions, such as Hepatitis or Tuberculosis, as opposed to the terminal one it once was.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Atripla?
Insurance companies “care” if an individual has been prescribed Atripla because there is only one reason why an individual would ever be prescribed Atripla, and that is to treat HIV. And because in some cases use of this medication and others like it can make detecting HIV within the bloodstream next to impossible in some cases, knowing someone has been prescribed this medication can allow an insurance company to quickly assess the situation within a given applicant and use this medication as a “road map” towards what other questions they will need to ask before being able to decide the outcome of your life insurance application.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Qualifying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy after testing positive for HIV is going to be tough. This is because while there are one or two different insurance companies that are willing to assume the risk for some patients, these companies are going to be VERY strict about “which” HIV-positive applicants they will approve.
And here is where…
We have to be completely honest with you because “at times”, the underwriting practices for individuals who have tested positive for HIV seem to be a bit “haphazard” at best. That said, what we can tell you is that insurance companies are only going to want to ensure applicants that:
- Are between the ages of 30 to 60.
- Are free of any complications or other pre-existing medical conditions.
- Have what would be considered a suppressed viral load.
- Have a stable CD4 level,
- Have been diagnosed at least one year before applying for coverage.
- And have been receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for at least six months.
So, one should be prepared to be asked whether or not they meet these standards and be prepared to have his or her medical records sent to the insurance company as well so that they can be reviewed in time.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
When it comes to predicting what kind of “rate”, an individual may be able to qualify for after having tested positive for HIV, it’s really pretty tough to say. This is mainly because approvals for individuals with HIV only really began in earnest after 2015, and there really aren’t all that many insurance companies willing to take on this kind of risk.
Now, what we can tell you is that you’re certainly not going to be able to qualify for a Standard or better rate. This means that if you are approved, you will be approved at a “Table Rate.” These rates range from Table A all the way to Table J, with Table A being considered the “best”.
Here at IBUSA…
When we do have an applicant qualify for coverage, it’s usually at a Table Rate around Table H, which at the end of the day isn’t too bad considering it’s still much better than many of the alternatives that folks who can’t qualify for coverage have to consider (guaranteed issue life insurance or accidental death policies).
This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss here in this article, which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that works best for folks who have been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition where the “severity” of the condition is often “subjective” is for the applicant to make sure that they first find a true-life insurance professional who will work as an advocate for you. Such an agent who can help guide you through the application process and be perfectly “frank” with you about what options may or may not be possible for you.
You’ll also want to make sure that the very same agent you have chosen has access to dozens of different life insurance companies because, after all, it really doesn’t matter how “great” of a life insurance agent you might have if they don’t have access to the “best” life insurance policy for you! Now, does it?
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you’re completely honest with your life insurance agent prior to applying for coverage. By doing so, you will be helping him or her narrow down what options might be the “best.”
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!