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Prudential to offer life insurance for people living with HIV

Prudential to offer life insurance for people living with HIV
Medical assistant Hector Reyes administers an HIV blood test to patient Sara Guillen, 59, of Los Angeles at St. John's Well Child and Family Center on March 18, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Prudential Financial Inc. said it will make life insurance coverage available to people living with HIV, becoming the first major insurer to do so, according to California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

People with HIV will be eligible for 10- and 15-year individual convertible term life insurance products. The policies will be available to those who meet the underwriting qualifications, the Newark, N.J.-based company said.

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The coverage is a partnership with Aequalis, a financial services company focused on providing insurance for people with HIV.

In a statement, Mike McFarland, Prudential Individual Life Insurance's chief underwriting officer, called the decision a "significant step in the right direction."

"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," he said.

Jones praised the move.

"Acknowledging that HIV is a chronic but manageable condition is the right thing to do," he said in a statement. "Millions of people living with serious chronic illnesses, such as HIV, need the ability to purchase life insurance to provide for their loved ones."

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