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newly diagnosed
Feb 18, 2004

i recently was diagnoised with hiv ...what are the things i need to get in order as for insurance and other issues i,m 43 yrs old single and have been on my job 18 yrs also i,m a homeowner (have mortgage disability insurance) ..just want to know how to plan for the what if,s and for my future any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.......thanks in advance

Response from Ms. Breuer

This is an excellent question. I applaud you for planning, rather than just letting things happen to you.

Your benefits package is now the laser beam focus of your attention.

1. Does the medical insurance plan you have cover prescriptions to the level that you now need? Can you see an infectious disease specialist whom you trust? Would another health plan offered by your employer fit your diagnosis better? It really matters that you be able to see an HIV specialist regularly. If appropriate, use the next open enrollment period to switch to a more appropriate plan for your needs.

2. Does your employer offer disability insurance, both short term and long term? If so, sign up for them at your earliest opportunity. Take the option of paying the premiums for the long term disability policy. If you ever need it, the benefit will be non-taxable if you have paid the premiums, taxable if your employer has paid them.

3. Do you have a life insurance option as part of your benefits package? If so, take that as well. Even though you don't seem to have dependents, a life insurance policy can be a source of needed cash later on if necessary.

In general: are your beneficiary designations and "in case of emergency" notifications up to date? Would your employer call the right person if you had a medical emergency at work?

Who holds your durable power of attorney for health care and for financial decisions? If you do not designate such a person on the correct forms and have them at hand when you need them (a medical emergency), the state is likely to assign those rights to your next of kin. You may or may not want that to be the case. The forms are available at www.nolo.com, the site for general legal advice.

My hope and belief is that you won't need some of this. But you'll feel so much better when it's in place and you don't have to think about it.

For further tips on reducing stress about this and doing good planning, I suggest that you check out the website www.helpwithbenefits.com.

Congratulations on being proactive when it's so important. And that disability mortgage insurance is smart.

And be well.



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