- If I have Hepatitis C, could I get life insurance?
- February 28, 2013
For those who apply for life insurance and have been diagnosed or are living with HCV, Davidson at The Hartford says an underwriter would want to know how the person’s liver function is now.
“The underwriter would want to know if there is any inflammation of liver cells. Also, they would want to know if the individual has seen a doctor about it and if the doctor decided to do a biopsy,” said Davidson. “If the biopsy is benign and the liver function test is ok, we would offer a low substandard rating, but in cases where the person is doing really well and the viral count is low or seemingly non-existent, they could get a standard rating. It really depends on the prognosis of the individual.”
When someone with HCV is treated, the doctor measures the viral count or, in other words, how many copies of the virus are in the blood.
“If there are no virus particles in the blood, then that person is probably in remission,” says Davidson.
Davidson adds that an insurer may also take into account how much alcohol a person drinks on a regular basis that has been diagnosed with HCV, since alcohol aggravates damage to the liver.
“Our rule of thumb is less than five drinks per week,” said Davidson.
A life insurer may deny an applicant for life insurance if they have an extremely high liver function, or the biopsy shows fibrous tumors or scarring, this is typically a sign that the person is at end-stage cirrhosis of the liver. It could also mean liver cancer.
TREATMENT AND RECOVERY
The primary difference between Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C is that in 80 percent of the cases, people with HEP B recover from the disease without treatment, with only 20 percent who develop chronic liver disease. Those numbers are reversed with HEP C.
“Eighty percent of people are afflicted with chronic liver disease and 20 percent go into remission from the disease,” said Davidson.
HCV is commonly treated with antiviral therapies that include Peg-IFN/Ribavirin drug treatments. Unfortunately, treatment for HCV can be pricey at a cost of up to 30,000 dollars.Pages: 1 2
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