Tuesday, 19 March 2019 21:08

Life Insurances for People taking PrEP

Good News for Australians taking PrEP for HIV prevention.

People taking PrEP are now eligible for the full range of Life Insurances stigma-free: if you know specialist Financial Advisor Drew Browne, the person behind unusualrisks.com.au

PrEPThis means people using PrEP can get a full range of insurance covers;

It's now all available to Australians taking PrEP - stigma and attitude free - through the specialist financial advisers behind unusualrisks.com.au

So what is PrEP?

You may have already heard about PrEP or perhaps you're looking for more information about how it affects your chances of getting Life Insurance or Income Protection cover?

Either way, PrEP is a medical breakthrough that's already playing a vital role in the efforts to end HIV by 2020.  Now the medication is listed on the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme), just about anyone can now get on it.

Taking PrEP is a highly effective medication for preventing exposure to HIV.

  • PrEP is an acronym that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV negative people taking antiretroviral drugs to protect them and prevent HIV infection – in just one tablet a day.
  • PrEP is, as the name implies, a pre-exposure strategy, unlike post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is taken after potential exposure to HIV has occurred.
In a nut-shell:
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or technically more accurate, HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), simply refers to the regular use of HIV medications by HIV-negative people to prevent them from acquiring HIV.

Who is taking PrEP?

Whether exposure to HIV is through sex or needlestick injuries, there are many people using PrEP to prevent them from being exposed to HIV and taking control of their sexual health and future wellbeing. 

  • Studies show PrEP is effective but the uptake of PrEP has been slow with research showing that's partly due to Stigma and Discrimination concerns - something the team at unusualrisks.com.au understands and provides a complete solution for when you need to apply for Life Insurances or Income Protection.

In Australia, lots of people use PrEP for lots of reasons.

  • Some sexually active gay and bisexual men, transgender people and heterosexual people with an HIV positive partner who doesn't have an undetectable viral load, are part of the population groups at higher risk.
  • Similarly, Medical Professionals, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Emergency Services Workers are all at higher risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses through sharps and needlestick injury.

Real Life Statistics

  • In Australia, approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds occur per year.
  • At least 18,000 healthcare professionals suffer from an NSI every year.
  • And 80% of reported NSIs involve a contaminated needle. The Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention in Healthcare

Research shows that the medication used for PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission among these population groups.

You can learn more about PrEP here.

What's the problem with PrEP and getting Life Insurance?

Up until now, Australian's taking PrEP have faced uncertainty, stigma and discrimination from Life Insurance companies towards the use of PrEP (and routinely find they also have to be the educator about PrEP).

  • People applying for insurance through online comparison websites report completing the application with full lifestyle and medical disclosures, only to feel insulted when a formal decline is issued due to 'lifestyle considerations'
  • People applying for insurance in their Superannuation fund report being routinely knocked back (and usually after having to disclose a full medical and lifestyle history) as the insurance provider doesn't 'deal with PrEP users'.

Most insurance companies and super funds simply do not provide underwriting for people with unusual occupations, hobbies, pastimes or lifestyles - if you get what we mean. 

That's why people use the expertise of unusualrisks.com.au to get their insurances sorted - stigma-free.

How have Life insurance companies treated people taking PrEP?

The New York Times broke the story of Dr. Philip Cheng, a urologist in Boston taking PrEP and being denied full insurance cover until he stopped taking, Truvada (the pharmaceutical brand name for PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.

When American News is not accurate for Australia

Today as many people get their news from the internet, the growing risk is it may not always be relevant in Australia.

  • Many American Life Insurance companies take a discriminatory approach to how they underwrite the use of PrEP and outright deny any form of insurance coverage.

  • Many Australian Life Insurance companies and Super funds formerly decline applications for insurance by people using PrEP and discriminate in a similar way against people with well managed HIV or Diabetes.

Good news for Australians taking PrEP

The good news is Australian's using PrEP and who need Life Insurance or Income Protection, now have a clear pathway to getting their cover sorted - stigma and discrimination free - through unusualrisks.com.au

Where to now?

  Learn more about how our process works. See How It Works.

  Have more questions? See Frequently Asked Questions.

Published in Services

Can I transfer my existing life insurance policy to you to manage ongoing for me?

Yes. It makes good sense to have your important policies safely in the hands of trusted and understanding people. Our Transfer & Manage Service is another speciality service available to our clients where you can have all your personal insurances with a single trusted professional who appreciates the importance of your situation and understands what you want.

Just send us an email and ask us how we do that.

Published in Essentials

Why does unusualrisks.com.au use pre-assessments?

By informally pre-assessing your situation up front, we can determine if you would qualify for cover.  This means we can position you so you have the best chance of being offered fair and reasonable policy terms should you decide to make a formal application.  It's all about having absolute certainty before you make an application without any hidden exclusions or uncertainties.

If you are unsuccessful in your pre-assessment, you don't end up with a formal refusal or decline recorded against your name.

Published in Essentials

So what type of life insurance policies don’t do underwriting upfront?

Usually, those sold by telemarketers and other low grade insurance sellers. Some of the more common life insurance policies sold through telemarketers have the bulk of their underwriting assessment done at claim time. For the uninformed consumer, we say this is dangerous (probably bordering on crazy) because you never really know if you are insured until you have to claim.

  • This means that for the first 5 years you may not be covered for what you expect. (Have a look at the fine print of these policies and see for yourself)
  • It also means that at claim time, if an insurance company were to decide that you were never really eligible for the policy in the first place, they simply won’t pay out the claim and might simply refund the premiums paid to that date.
  • The risk to you of not understanding their fine print is particularly significant.

Where is the peace of mind with this type of policy you ask? Yep, we’re still looking for that ourselves. Without the assistance of a risk adviser from unusualrisks.com.au you’re totally on your own. And who will be there for you and your loved ones at claim time? A different telemarketer this time perhaps?

Published in Essentials

What does it mean when a policy is fully underwritten upfront?

Peace of mind. The degree of risk is assessed and the application completed at the time you make the application, not when you need to make a claim.  Having a professional policy that's fully underwritten upfront ensures all the assessments by the insurance company are completed so you (or your family) don't have nasty surprises at claim time.

Published in Essentials

Is Telemarketer direct insurance good for pre-existing medical conditions?

No. For most people with a pre-existing health condition, it’s an automatic decline. This then triggers a formal decline record.

This is a problem because you would then have to disclose this fact on every single new insurance application for the rest of your life. Failing to do so would give a company legal grounds to avoid paying out your insurance claim

Did you know that one of the common telemarketed direct life insurance products in the market today, has an exclusion for pre-existing conditions for the first 5 years? Additionally, the company will use retrospective underwriting to see if you were eligible for the policy in the first place, not when you take the policy out, but at the time of claim.

This means, that if you are assessed as ‘never eligible for the policy in the first place’ when you make a claim, the insurance company has the option to refund any premiums paid and simply state ‘you were never eligible for the policy in the first place so you were never insured, so there is nothing to claim'.

If you want absolute certainty and peace of mind, get your life insurance from a professional Risk Insurance Adviser, not the local bank clerk or a telemarketer.

When you understand the significance of this issue alone, you will begin to appreciate the value of a professional relationship with a Risk Insurance Adviser who is there for you and your loved ones at the time of an insurance claim.

Published in Essentials
Sunday, 10 July 2016 19:05

Why is Life Insurance so important?

Life Insurance 101- Why is Life Insurance so important?

Life insurance is all about giving the people you care about most, financial security if you’re no longer alive to support them. With life insurance, when you die, (or become terminally ill), your nominated loved one(s) can receive a lump sum payment.

They can use this to continue living the life you want them to. (Mortgages can be paid out, children’s private education fees paid, people aren't forced to leave the home or area where they have been used to living and frail aged or special needs people in your life can be cared for etc.)

If you’re in business, it can mean that if you’re not there, your business debts are paid out and that the business doesn't have to be wound up or forced into a sale. It means that you (or your business partners) are not forced into business with the remaining family of business partners. The possibilities are as individual as your needs.

Published in Essentials

As part of the typical underwriting process, a life insurance company will usually request a medical report from a person's nominated GP or Medical Specialist.
A formal written request for a medical report is sent in the post, along with payment, an explanatory letter and a copy of the person's signed Authority to Exchange Information waiver. The request is usually in a question and answer form that asks about specific outcomes.

If you would like an editable PDF version of such a form, you can request one by sending us an email.

Published in Essentials

You will need the following information close to hand:

  1. your GP’s name, address, and full contact details.
  2. the common names and doses of any medications that you might be taking.
  3. the approximate date and reason for your last medical appointment, who it was with and the outcome eg: '6 months ago in September, I went to my local GP for a flue shot and some sinus medications that I took twice daily for 4 weeks. etc.'
  4. the results from any medical tests eg: blood pressure or cholesterol results.
  5. the details of you medical history eg: the approximate date you were diagnosed with a particular medical condition if you have had extending time off work because of it etc.

It’s a good idea to keep a Health Diary of important dates, tests, current medications or results that are significant for you.

Published in Essentials

Our Director and Senior Adviser Drew Browne works personally with every one of our specialty risk clients. Here is a link to his >Public LinkedIn professional profile< if you would like to know more about him. He's a good guy to know and have in your corner as an advocate for you.

Published in Essentials
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