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HIV-positive people will be able to buy life insurance

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 12:49 PM

In the past, many people who were diagnosed as HIV-positive would sell their life insurance policies because they were likely to die before the policy would fully mature for their beneficiaries.MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images

In the past, many people who were diagnosed as HIV-positive would sell their life insurance policies because they were likely to die before the policy would fully mature for their beneficiaries.

AIDS is no longer a death sentence — and it no longer has to decimate an HIV-positive person’s bank account.

For the first time, people with HIV who are otherwise healthy will be able to get life insurance — a sign that big financial firms are ready to take the risk.

Medical advances allow us “to offer insurance to people dealing with various medical or chronic conditions,” said Mike McFarland, the chief underwriting officer for Prudential Individual Life Insurance, which will become the first large insurer to extend such coverage.

The company did not reveal what a life-insurance policy would cost for a person who is HIV-positive, but did say its 10- to 15-year policies could be convertible to permanent policies.

“We’re passionate about our efforts to offer this community a way to help achieve their financial goals through the protection life insurance offers,” McFarland said in a statement.

Prudential developed the policies with Aequalis, a financial services start-up for HIV-positive people that analyzed mortality rates of people with the virus.

More than a million Americans are living with HIV — and 40% are over 50. By 2020, it will be 50%, according to the feds.

In an unrelated AIDS development, one of the nation’s largest drug provided said it had worked out a deal to provide a low-cost alternative to Daraprim, a vital medication for weakened immune systems.

Shady drugmaker Turing Pharmaceuticals had jacked up the price from $ 13.50 to $ 750 per pill after getting the rights to the medication. But Express Scripts and Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said they will provide a low cost alternative to the drug for $ 1 a pill.

“(It’s) the right thing to do for HIV patients and others,” Express Scripts vice president Steve Miller said in a statement.

jcutler@nydailynews.com

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