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Milestone development: Prudential and ÆQUALIS join to make life insurance available to people living with HIV

Brian Anderson

HIV, which causes AIDS, still has no cure. But with the right treatment, the virus can be prevented from developing into AIDS, improving both the life expectancy and quality of life for people carrying the virus.

The prognosis for the 1.2 million-plus Americans (40% over 50) living with HIV has improved significantly over the past two decades, but until now, the life insurance industry hasn’t kept up.

Prudential Financial Inc. announced Dec. 2 that it is joining forces with ÆQUALIS, an innovative company bringing insurance products to underserved communities, to offer traditional individual policies to eligible people living with HIV.

HIV has traditionally been a condition that has excluded people from anything resembling traditional coverage, so the announcement marks a major development acknowledging that HIV has evolved into a manageable disease.

People livingwith HIV may now be eligible to obtain 10- and 15-year individual convertible term life insurance products, offered through Prudential’s issuing insurance companies.

“As medical technology advances, we continuously evaluate and update our underwriting criteria, which has resulted in our ability to offer insurance to people dealing with various medical or chronic conditions,” said Mike McFarland, chief underwriting officer, Prudential Individual Life Insurance. “With advances in the successful treatment of people with HIV, we are now able to offer this population the opportunity to apply for life insurance – a milestone we see as a significant step in the right direction.”

ÆQUALIS is providing consumers with direct access to information about the insurance products that are available and managing the process of applying for a policy. They are also working with financial professionals and other major insurance agencies and distributors to raise awareness and manage the application process.

ÆQUALIS’ founders, Andrew Terrell and Bill Grant, have both been deeply affected by the challenges experienced by close family and friends who were or are living with HIV. Like so many others, they lost people they loved and watched as others lived long enough to benefit from new treatments. These personal experiences are what motivated Grant and Terrell to form ÆQUALIS in 2010 and work with the financial services and insurance industries to drive change.

“ÆQUALIS’ story is personal and a unique one of compassion, perseverance and determination,” said Grant, who along with Terrell, has been a driving force in providing more data and information to the insurance industry to help them offer insurance coverage to people living with HIV. “The ability to help people provide security for loved ones, family members and business partners is a gratifying result,” Grant said.

“Our relationship with ÆQUALIS is another way we are extending our reach into underserved markets,” said McFarland. “We’re passionate about our efforts to offer this community a way to help achieve their financial goals through the protection life insurance offers.”

To learn more or access the application go to http://myaequalis.com.

• Will this move the needle? Do you see this development as a difference-maker that will impact some of your clients or prospects, or will it fly under the radar among the agent community? Will it open the gates to more insurers offering more traditional coverage to people with HIV? How much more expensive will it be? Please chime in with your thoughts on this new thread: Life Insurance for People with HIV

About ÆQUALIS: ÆQUALIS is a dynamic company whose primary focus is eliminating barriers and creating an equal playing field by offering financial solutions for people living with HIV. ÆQUALIS is working with the insurance industry to help their efforts to enhance their underwriting criteria and reach underserved markets including those who are living with HIV. The ÆQUALIS Foundation is being developed and will be operational in 2016, to address the continued challenges people with HIV face and to collaborate with organizations that directly benefit LGBT youth and people living with HIV.

About Prudential: Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com.

ÆQUALIS is an independent organization and is not an affiliate of Prudential Financial. ÆQUALIS sells and/or distributes life insurance products of Prudential Financial’s affiliated life insurance companies in addition to other life insurance company products and sells and/or provides brokerage general agency services for many of these insurers.

Life insurance is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Pruco Life Insurance Company (except in NY and/or NJ), and Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey (in NY and/or NJ). All are Prudential Financial companies located in Newark, NJ. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities.



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