Trauma Insurance and Income Protection Insurance for Medically Acquired HIV
It is never pleasant to think about the impact that a serious medical condition could have on your life. Not only can there be emotional, but financial hardship also as adjustments are made to maintain a quality of life while experiencing potential reduction or loss in income and accounting for new expenses. While Life Cover can provide financial support to ones dependents following death, what about the support that is needed for serious health events where the insured survives? Trauma and TPD insurance ensures that support in the event of serious illness or injury, support is there to help you and your family make the best of a difficult situation and are not put under any more strain than you actually are. One such condition that can have a dramatic affect on ones life is HIV. This article will discuss what cover is offered for HIV that has been caused by accidental infection and the conditions for benefit payment.
What types of HIV related questions will I need to answer?
When applying for HIV, you may need to answer the following questions (or some variation):
- Have you or a previous sexual partner tested positive for HIV/AIDS or shown associated symptoms?
- Have you been in an HIV/AIDS risk situation within the last 3 years? These can include sex with an intravenous drug user, sex with a sex worker or contact with infected blood including from a needlestick.
- If you answer yes to any of these questions you will be directed to a confidential questionnaire.
What is HIV?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a condition that attacks the human immune system which, if left untreated, can result in AIDs or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
The HIV virus attacks the white blood cells and macrophages the body. White blood cells play an important role in maintaining a person's immunity to disease. People infected with the virus therefore become susceptible to illnesses owing to the breakdown of the immune system. Once infected with the virus the infected person will remain infected for the rest of his or her life and they are able to transmit the virus to others via their blood or their sexual fluids.
Some of the most common diseases that are related to AIDS include:
- Cancer of the lining of the blood vessels
- A protozoan infection affecting the central nervous system
- A viral infection that causes retinitis and blindness
- Candidiasis, and severe herpes
- However as the immune system is depressed the person suffering from the HIV virus is vulnerable to many illnesses, in fact almost any symptom may occur in an infected person
Causes of HIV
HIV is transmitted by the bodily fluids semen, blood, vaginal fluids and breast milk from one person into another blood stream. The most common cause of HIV is unprotected sex though other causes include:
- The sharing of needles and syringes
- Transfusion from mother to child
- Unsterile needles used for body piercing or tattooing
- Through accidental infection in the course of the insureds normal occupation
Another cause of HIV that is recognised by insurers is that which is recognised by many insurers is by accidental infection through a medical procedure with a medical professional. The section below will discuss how medically acquired HIV is covered by insurers.
Trauma Insurance for Medically Acquired HIV
In the event that the insured has become infected with HIV via a medical procedure that arose via a medical procedure with an approved medical professional, a full payment of the lump-sum benefit sum-insured will be provided. Some general conditions used by Australian insurers for this benefit to be paid include;
Cause of infection:
- Medical procedure that lead to the infection must have been performed by an Australian practitioner that is both approved and registered
- Infection must have arisen from one of the following medical conditions:
- Blood transfusion
- Transfusion with blood products
- Organ transplant with the insured person
- Medical or dental procedure by a doctor or at a recognised medical facility
- Seroconversion evidence of HIV infection must be proven to insurer within a period of six months of the event occurring
Infection must not be caused by any other means including;
- Sexual activity
- Non-medical drug use
- Benefit will not be paid if a cure for HIV has become available prior to the accident giving rise to a claim
Reporting incident to insurer
- Any accident that may give rise to a potential claim must be reported to the insurer within the specified time-frame
- Some insurers will require the insured to produce a negative HIV test within a week of the accident occurring
- The insurer has the right to request independent tests and additional tests if necessary
What support will Trauma Insurance provide in the event of HIV Accidental Infection by Medical Procedure?
In the event that the insured person satisfies the insurance companies eligibility requirements for HIV, they will be provided a lump sum benefit of the total sum-insured.
Most insurers will have a qualifying period clause in place whereby the benefit will not be paid for HIV accidental infection by medical procedure if infection occurs within three months of the policy being activated.
But do I need it?
If you were to suffer a medical trauma such as HIV, life insurance alone will not be able to help unless you had the opportunity of taking up an option that gives specific protection, but not all life insurance policies include such cover. If you were to contract AIDS you could become seriously ill in a short period of time and not able to return to work. You may not even be able to take part in any productive employment for the remainder of your life. Income protection and totally and permanently disabled cover may not be suitable either as the payout is dependent on the effect of the event and what occurs afterwards. It is trauma insurance that will pay out on the actual diagnosis of the condition.
Trauma insurance will provide the insured with a lump sum payment in the event of you being diagnosed with accidentally contracting HIV. The thought behind the cover is to provide for the following events:
- Pay for specialist or overseas medical attention
- Avoid financial stress through debts and loss of income
- Remain capable of covering everyday living expenses
- Pay off outstanding debts
- Cover any other costs that may become apparent
It is critical that anyone that is looking to claim for medically acquired HIV is completely clear on the insurers requirements for claiming. Conditions for benefit payment can vary greatly between insurers and knowing exactly what is required can help ensure your claim is not rejected and the benefit is paid on time. finder.com.au always recommends that applicant clearly read through these conditions in the product disclosure statement prior to application.
Does Needlestick Injury Cover Medically Acquired HIV?
Some life insurance companies have now included what they are calling a needle-stick option in their policies. This option is meant to cover medical workers, health care workers and specialists in the event of contracting HIV from their employment situations and as a result find themselves no longer able to work. These latest options cover terminal illness and accidental death as well as needle-stick injuries for medical professionals. The key difference between this cover and that provided under Medically Acquired HIV is that Needlestick is designed for actual medical practitioners for infection through the course of medical procedures performed on patients.
Income Protection Insurance for Medically Acquired HIV
Most life insurance companies will also provide cover for Medically Acquired HIV under their income protection insurance policies. In addition to specified injuries that are covered under the policy, insurers will also feature a list of crisis events that, if suffered by the insurer, will render them totally disabled for the benefit period defined on the policy.
As an example, Asteron will pay the insured monthly benefit payable in addition to a crisis benefit of 1/3rd the insured monthly benefit for the period that they have selected at the time of application.
Find Life Insurance cover for Medically Acquired HIV
If you are looking to find protection for different crisis events, including Medically Acquired HIV, you can make a secure enquiry via the online application form. Upon receiving your details, a certified insurance consultant will be in touch to discuss the different cover options that are available. An insurer will help you find affordable cover by comparing hundreds of different policy options and letting you know about any discount offers. There is no obligation whatsoever to sign up for a policy when making an enquiry.
*'New cover' refers to when you start a policy, reinstate cancelled cover or increase cover. The conditions in the above form are a general guide. Always consult the insurers product disclosure statement (PDS) for further information.