Netherlands Insurance Association Recommends Offering Individual Life Insurance to Some HIV-Positive People
A Netherlands insurance industry association on Wednesday announced it has begun recommending that its members offer individual life insurance plans to some HIV-positive people, and six companies so far have agreed to do so, the AP/Jerusalem Post reports. The Dutch Association of Insurers advised its members to insure HIV-positive people who have responded well to treatment, do not have other medical complications and who have never used injection drugs, according to a statement from the group (AP/Jerusalem Post, 3/9). Successful treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy, which is a combination of three or more antiretroviral drugs, is one of the most important conditions for an HIV-positive person to qualify for life insurance, the Netherlands' Expatica News reports. The cost of life insurance premiums for HIV-positive people who qualify is expected to be comparable to the cost of policies offered to people who have diabetes or are obese. The insurance initially is expected to be offered to about 25% of the 10,000 HIV-positive people living in the country, with the number expected to increase significantly over the next few years, according to Expatica News (Expatica News, 3/9). The Dutch Association of Insurers represents more than 95% of the insurance market expressed in terms of gross premium income (DAI Web site, 3/9). An individual life insurance policy often is required to acquire a mortgage in the Netherlands, according to the AP/Post.
Offer Rare, But Not Unique
The offer to provide life insurance plans to HIV-positive individuals is "rare but not unique" to the Netherlands, the AP/Post reports (AP/Jerusalem Post, 3/9). Although people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States cannot be denied group life insurance policies through employers or associations, they are routinely denied individual policies that require a medical review. Some HIV-positive people can obtain "guaranteed issue" life insurance policies that do not require a medical review, but the policies are expensive and provide limited coverage (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/28/04). DAI Director Eric Fischer said the chance of dying from AIDS-related causes in the Netherlands has been significantly reduced because of improved treatment, according to Expatica News (Expatica News, 3/9).