The Establishment of HIV/ AIDS Regulations for Life Insurance Underwriting Practices

The Establishment of HIV/ AIDS Regulations for Life Insurance Underwriting Practices

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Brian Harper started this petition to Congress

As a licensed life insurance agent in the states of Maryland, DC, Virginia and North Carolina, I am often provided with confidential health information of potential clients. Much of this information is extremely private and sensitive to my clients. Like most insurance agents, I am careful with the information that is provided to me. We strive to make our clients feel comfortable and try our best to be well versed in our products and services in order to make the best recommendations with the information we have about our client. Most life insurance carriers provide us with a preliminary underwriting guide, that allows us to better understand the parameters in which that will rate, approve, and even decline a policy contract. We take pride in delivering clear expectations to our clients based on the information we receive. Many insurance companies have a great contact center that agents can call and get support with their applications. This industry is both rewarding and necessary to protect the livelihood of our loved ones should we experience an untimely death, leaving behind outstanding mortgage balances, lack of savings for our children to go to college, and other final expenses. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to HIV/AIDS, there seems to be very little compassion or even understanding of the disease in the underwriting practices of many insurance carriers. Often times, the words HIV or AIDS warrant a quick response of "No" from the field support agents on the phone or the underwriting brochures. If a carrier will consider reviewing the application for possible approval, they will tell you their decisioning is on a case by case basis and nothing more. The brochures often times don't mention HIV/AIDS in their long list of ailments for agents to use to hold the decision makers accountable. 

These are outdated practices. With the progression of medicine and science, many people living with HIV/AIDS are living much longer and healthier lives than even some people without the disease. However, vey little life insurance companies will bat their eyes at an application where the applicant discloses a positive HIV/AIDS status- even if they have achieved and maintained the undetectable/non-transmittable status after following doctors orders properly. Tobacco continues to kill many people by way of lung disease, cancer and much more. However, tobacco users are being underwritten and approved everyday. They simply charge them a higher insurance premium. 

I've personally written letters/emails to my Senator, Ben Cardin, since the summer. I have not received any response other than "we will get back to you". Is this the message that we want to send to our neighbors, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, parents or children? While we wait for you to get back to us about bringing this matter to the senate floor and calling for HIV/AIDS Life Insurance Underwriting Regulation, many people leave this world and leave behind loved one who had no life insurance at all because of these unfair practices. This petition calls for the immediate review and execution of regulation of underwriting practices for life insurance companies to disclose (in writing) to insurance agents how they handle underwriting for HIV/ AIDS. It calls for "case by case" decisioning to be considered unlawful as it leaves room for personal opinion at the hands of underwriters on the basis of racial bias, sexual orientation discriminations and much more. Additionally, this petition calls for the immediate regulation of insurance companies who consider approval for applicants who are HIV positive to review full blood, urine, and paramedical exams before making decisions on an application where the client has disclosed a positive HIV/AIDS status. Furthermore, it calls for the immediate requirement for regular internal and external auditing of the practices and all applications where an applicant is HIV positive to eliminate unfair practices by underwriters. Ideally, this internal and external auditing team should be separate from the underwriting team and work as Compliance regulators. 

By signing this petition, you are helping to raise awareness of these practices that may change the life of someone around you. Not everyone that has HIV/AIDS will disclose the systemic issues they're facing such as the denial of a life insurance application. Please consider adding your signature TODAY! 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!