Those stricken with HIV may now have insurance

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The Insurance Commission (IC) has issued new underwriting guidelines in the assessment of risks of persons with actual or perceived human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to help alleviate the economic strain to the person and their families.

According to Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa, the guidelines will enable insurance companies to offer fully underwritten life insurance to customers with actual, perceived or suspected to be inflicted with HIV.

“The issue on HIV requires a comprehensive approach in prevention, treatment and impact alleviation. Despite free antiretro viral treatment, the lack of life-insurance cover for persons with HIV continues to be a source of economic strain to them and their families. Thus, there is a need to provide insurance protection to these individuals,” Funa said.

The guidelines determine the parameters to be considered for life-insurance risk classifications and other underwriting purposes in cases of persons with actual, perceived or suspected to be with HIV.

The crafting of the new guidelines was in collaboration with the Home Office Life Underwriters Associations of the Philippines, the Philippine Society of Insurance Medicine and the Philippine Life Insurance Associations-Medical Information Database.

Insurance companies are not required to create new insurance policies but instead special underwriting standards will be used in existing life-insurance policies under the new guidelines, according to the IC.

Insurance companies may now provide insurance cover to a person with HIV if the applicant is undergoing proper medical treatment, has a favorable risk profile, and the results of the medical examinations required are within normal limits.

In case of newly discovered persons who are HIV positive, the insurance companies can postpone the issuance of a life-insurance policy for a period of not more than one year from the start of continuous antiretro viral treatment. The one-year period is necessary for the evaluation of compliance with the antiretro viral treatment.