For people living with HIV in the U.S., it can be difficult obtaining quality life insurance that is both comprehensive and cost-effective. Although modern HIV medication allows for people with HIV to live long and healthy lives, they are often denied coverage that could protect their families and loved ones. However, two American insurance companies, Prudential Financial and ÆQUALIS, have recently joined forces to provide life insurance for under-served communities, including people living with HIV.
Provided they meet the underwriting requirements, people living with HIV may now be eligible to obtain 10- and 15-year individual convertible term life insurance products, offered through Prudential’s issuing insurance companies. The partnership represents a milestone in the changing nature of HIV infection and life with the disease.
“As medical technology advances, we continuously evaluate and update our underwriting criteria, which has resulted in our ability to offer insurance to people dealing with various medical or chronic conditions,” said Mike McFarland, chief underwriting officer, Prudential Individual Life Insurance. “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.”
ÆQUALIS is providing consumers with direct access to information about the insurance products that are available and managing the process of applying for a policy. They are also working with financial professionals and other major insurance agencies and distributors to raise awareness and manage the application process.
Seems straightforward, but for ÆQUALIS founders Andrew Terrell and Bill Grant, the decision to give people with HIV access to life insurance is more personal. Both men say that they have been deeply affected by the challenges experienced by family and friends who were or are living with HIV. Their personal experiences are what motivated Grant and Terrell to form ÆQUALIS in 2010 and work with the financial services and insurance industries to drive change.
“ÆQUALIS’ story is personal and a unique one of compassion, perseverance and determination,” said Bill Grant, who along with co-founder Andrew Terrell, has been a driving force in providing more data and information to the insurance industry to help them offer insurance coverage to people living with HIV. “The ability to help people provide security for loved ones, family members and business partners is a gratifying result,” said Grant.
“Our relationship with ÆQUALIS is another way we are extending our reach into underserved markets,” said McFarland. “We’re passionate about our efforts to offer this community a way to help achieve their financial goals through the protection life insurance offers.”
To learn more about the partnership or to apply, you can visit www.myaequalis.com.