Microinsurance for the HIV-positive

“They are constantly following up — ‘Are you taking your meds, did you get your bloodwork done?’” said Patient. “I have a physician and I have a specialist, and now I have an insurance company monitoring me as well. They are very active in keeping me alive.”

If you have a terminal disease, you’re more likely to stop caring about keeping yourself healthy. Hey, you’ve only got so many days left, so might as well live life to the fullest! But, if you have life insurance, and your insurance company is making sure you’re doing everything you’re suppose to be doing to stay healthy because they are betting their money on you, you might stop thinking about the day you’ll die, and start thinking about the days you’ll live. Because, hey, someone is now betting that you will live!

Insurance used to be impossible to get if you were an HIV-positive person living in Africa, but small, inexpensive health and life insurance policies are becoming available to people in poor countries through microinsurance, and it’s actually making a difference. AllLife is one of those companies providing insurance for the HIV-positive in South Africa: “Ross Beerman, AllLife’s managing director, says that clients average a 15 percent improvement in their CD4 count — an immune system marker — six months after buying insurance, whether or not they are taking antiretrovirals (the majority of clients have not yet reached that stage).”

It doesn’t come too cheap. One HIV-positive patient mentioned in the article is paying $225 a month for his $62,500 policy (compared to the $36 a month I pay for a $1 million policy). It’s still all very promising.

(Thanks to Jon C. for the link!)

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