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Prudential will Offer HIV Patients Life Insurance if they Qualify

Update Date: Dec 02, 2015 03:19 PM EST

Prudential Financial Inc. has announced that it will be offering the traditional life insurance plans to people diagnosed with HIV. Prior to Prudential's announcement this week, plans either did not cover HIV patients or offered plans that barely covered anything. 

"Prudential's offering of life insurance to people living with HIV, who would have previously been denied coverage, is an important step in increasing accessibility to this key insurance product, which helps provide security to individuals and families," Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said reported in the press release.

She added, "My hope is that other insurers will follow suit and begin offering life insurance to individuals living with HIV, and that as further medical advances occur, the criteria for this coverage will be less restrictive. This is a good day for increased insurance accessibility."

The coverage includes a 10- or 15-year term life polices to patients who are considered to be healthy. People on these policies have the option of converting them into a full lifetime plan.

Patients who are healthy must not have a history of any AIDS-defining condition. Their lowest recorded CD4 levels must be more than 200 and their most recent measurement of CD4 levels should be at least 350. Patients also cannot have Hepatitis B and/or C, Tuberculosis and mycobacterial infection that is not related to tuberculosis.

Other criteria include:

-Must be between the ages of 30 and 60.

-Must be a permanent resident in the U.S.

-Must have been diagnosed with HIV for at least one year.

-Must be treated with Antiretroviral Therapy for at least six months.

Prudential, which is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., said that it made its decision to expand coverage to HIV patients due to the advances that have been made to treat HIV/AIDS. These treatments have allowed HIV patients to live longer with the disease.

"With advances in the successful treatment of people with HIV, we are now able to offer this population the opportunity to apply for life insurance -- a milestone we see as a significant step in the right direction," Prudential chief underwriting officer Mike McFarland said in a statement

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.2 million Americans have HIV with about 50,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

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