Does life insurance test for HIV?

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When applying for life insurance, you may be required to complete a medical exam where your height, weight, vitals and blood will be checked. These medical tests are administered for the purpose of underwriting and play a major role in calculating the rates that you will eventually pay when the policy is issued. When applying for a fully underwritten life insurance policy, you should expect the company to look into your medical past and your current condition so that they have all of the information that they need to assess your mortality. Start comparing life insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

It is not out of the ordinary for people who are submitting to medical testing to wonder just what the underwriters are looking for when they review lab results and vital readings. One of the many conditions that life insurers will test for when underwriting an application for insurance is HIV. Read on, and learn more about underwriting, how companies test for auto-immune diseases, and how a positive test could affect your rates.

Why do life insurance companies underwrite policies?

A majority of traditional life insurance companies will sell life insurance products that are underwritten. When an application is fully underwritten it means that the company will require a medical exam to assess your health, verify the answers that you have provided on your application, and calculate your actual life expectancy.

As part of the application process for an underwritten policy, you will be asked to answer medical questions and questions about your personal habits. Once of these questions will ask if you have been diagnosed with any diseases or conditions in the past 3 years. It is important to be as honest as possible because the information will be verified with your medical records. You must also roll up your sleeves for a basic medical exam that will look for red flags that could indicate that you do have a condition that just has not yet been diagnosed.

The purpose of requiring a medical exam and underwriting the results is to protect the insurer.

If an insurance company were to simply go by the information provided on the application without assessing a person’s condition, they may charge them very low rates when they are actually a very high risk. High-risk applicants are those who have a low life expectancy and are expected to die sooner than those in their age group or demographic.

Since the company wants to collect as much from the insurer as possible in the form of premiums, calculating rates based on risk and life expectancy is important. This is why the underwriters will look for factors that lower life expectancy and that create a need to change risk classification and charge higher rates.

What tests will you take for a life insurance medical exam?

Life insurance companies will order several different tests, and the tests that are administered during a medical exam will depend upon your age at the time of application, your medical history, your family’s history and how much insurance you are requesting. You should ask your agent what tests will be administered prior to your exam appointment so that you know how to prepare. If you are having blood taken, be sure not to eat for at least 8 hours before and not to drink caffeine. These are things that can affect the readings and cause errors in risk classifications.

Routinely, you will be asked to provide samples of your blood, urine, and even your saliva for testing purposes. These samples will be sent to the lab for testing and the results will be sent to the insurance company. Some of the tests used will look for diabetes, heart disease, smoking, drug use and HIV.

How do you know if the company is testing for HIV?

It is your right as an applicant to know what an insurance company is using your bodily fluids for when you submit to testing. This is why you are required to sign a thick pile of paperwork before the company will order any medical records or send a paramedical professional to you to collect samples. It is very important to read through these papers so that you know what you are approving.

It is not against the law to test an applicant for HIV or to ask an applicant if they are HIV-positive as long as the applicant signs a form where they give their consent. Remember that the actual laws surrounding HIV testing vary from state to state, but testing is a common practice in the life insurance industry and all companies have consent form requirements. If you refuse to sign a consent form it is quite simple–the company refuses to issue you a policy. Make sure that you read through all of the forms that you are signing and ask for lab results to be given to you if you would like to review them with your doctor as well.

How are you tested for HIV?

There are new types of tests that do not even require you to have blood drawn to test for HIV. Most insurance companies will use these rapid antibody tests that use saliva rather than blood because they are much more affordable. If you take an oral test, you will be given an oral swab. After the saliva is collected, the sample will be tested for the present of antibodies. This can be done rather quickly and lead to a quick issuance. Some companies still do require a blood test, which takes a bit longer. Now that you know about testing, it is time to learn about the virus itself.

What is HIV?

HIV, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a condition that infects people and limits their immune system’s ability to fight off infection. Unlike other types of infections that the body can ward off, the human immune system is not able to fight off HIV. Because it is a virus, it is able to reproduce in the body and take over the host by lowering the healthy T-Cells.

HIV is just the first stage of the infection and not the stage that is seen to be terminal.

Once the virus invades the body and destroys CD4 cells to the point where you are unable to fight infections at all, HIV will become AIDS. Not everyone who is diagnosed with HIV will have a case that progresses to AIDS if they stay committed to their treatment. AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a stage of HIV where you are vulnerable to infections that can lead to death if you do not turn to medical intervention.

Once the virus invades the body and destroys CD4 cells to the point where you are unable to fight infections at all, HIV will become AIDS. Not everyone who is diagnosed with HIV will have a case that progresses to AIDS if they stay committed to their treatment. AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a stage of HIV where you are vulnerable to infections that can lead to death if you do not turn to medical intervention.

What types of treatments exist for HIV?

Many people who are tested for HIV say that waiting for the results can be the scariest time of their lives. Those who do get a positive diagnosis through rapid antibody tests or antigen tests will have an HIV screening where you will discuss treatment options. While there is not a cure that rids the virus from the body completely, there have been advancements in treatment options that will help patients live a happy and comfortable life.

Treatment for HIV will start when cell counts begin to drop. When the doctors feel it is necessary, patients will begin to take antiretroviral drugs. They will fight the virus in your body and reduce your chances of having a virus that progresses to AIDS and becomes resistant to treatments. Early treatment and a combination of effective medications is the best way to control the virus so that you can live close to a normal life expectancy.

What is the life expectancy of people diagnosed with HIV?

In the past, the life expectancy of an individual with HIV was rather low. Now, people who are diagnosed while the CD4 cell counts are relatively high and seek early treatment have a longer life expectancy than you might think. According to studies conducted by AIDSMAP, the average life expectancy of someone who has been diagnosed with HIV and are treated before their cell counts fall below 350 cells is actually equal or higher than that of the general population.

One of the major reasons why people who have contracted HIV and are going through treatment have an extended life expectancy is because they receive more healthcare than the average person.

They will be taking the medications that keep the disease under control and regularly see the doctor. This is something that the average individual in the United States does not do because of healthcare costs or because they simply do not believe that something is wrong with them.

It is still possible to find insurance when you have HIV if you are treating your infection. The best way to find affordable coverage is to comparison shop. Use a rating tool online, provide your accurate information, and then you will find a policy that suits you and offers the family financial protection. Start comparing life insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

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