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Group term life insurance ? - i have to respond by 5/19
May 24, 2006

I was recently terminated from my job. I elected to pay the $300 a month for COBRA but I have a question about life insurance. If I am hired with another employer that offers life insurance, can I be excluded because of my HIV status? Or am I okay if I sign up for it when I sign up for everything else or during open enrollment? I got something from Prudential today that says I can continue my coverage with them (5x my annual salary) for $458 a year. I am in good health but the COBRA cost is killing me and I'd rather not have to pay $458 for life insurance if I'll be able to get it again down the road.

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Prudential is referring to a conversion policy. Usually, you have 30 days from the date your coverage ends to apply for a conversion policy. With a conversion policy, you should be able to purchase an amount less than 5 times your annual salary which would reduce your annual cost. Also, you might be able to pay on a monthly or quarterly basis instead of annually. With respect to life insurance at a new company, you would be eligible for whatever basic level of coverage the new company offers (the guaranteed issue amount). However, if the company also offers supplemental coverage, you would have to answer a medical questionnaire and the insurer would probably not extend the supplemental coverage to you because of your HIV status.

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