Liberty now provides life cover for people living with HIV

28 November 2013 Liberty

Liberty today announced that its flagship life product, Lifestyle Protector, is now available to people living with HIV – with life cover of up to R5-million.

The company is also making its EduCator benefit available, to ensure that children of people living with HIV can continue with their education even after the passing on of their parents.

Steven Braudo, CE of Liberty Retail, says people living with HIV have a need for life cover, just like everyone else and Liberty will provide that cover.

"We know that HIV is manageable. Advances in the treatment of HIV mean that people are able to live with the condition as one would with any other chronic ailment such as diabetes. People living with HIV can access our Lifestyle Protector product just like any other customers; no additional requirements will be asked of them,” says Braudo.

Liberty’s solution to providing life cover to people living with HIV differs from others in the industry. Unlike most products, Liberty does not require people living with HIV to be subjected to regular testing to determine or prove adherence to a treatment regime. People living with HIV clients will be underwritten at application stage and if they are accepted they will be treated in the same manner as any other clients with a health condition.

"We don’t believe it is appropriate for people to lose their cover if they can no longer adhere to their treatment regime, as their need for life cover is completely separate from their ability to adhere to a treatment regime or their body’s ability to respond positively to treatment,” says Nicholas van der Nest, Divisional Director of Risk Products at Liberty.

"At Liberty we believe a less punitive and discriminatory approach is what is needed, and we have adapted our product offering accordingly,” adds van der Nest.

In May 2002, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that Nevirapine should be available to all HIV positive pregnant women and their infants, who give birth in any public sector facility. As a result of this intervention, many of these children are born HIV negative. The reality is that this can mean that many face the challenge of completing their schooling without the financial support of their parents who may have passed away as a result of developing Aids.

To ensure that the solution to people living with HIV is comprehensive and speaks to their needs, HIV positive clients are also eligible to purchase the EduCator benefit, ensuring that children of HIV positive parents can continue to go to school.

"We believe that offering our EduCator benefit to HIV positive clients will meet a real need – ensuring access to a better future for children who are affected and impacted by HIV and Aids. This is important to us because we recognise the need for parents to ensure that their children are able access an education in the event that one or both parents pass away,” notes van der Nest.

Liberty recognises the importance of applying the appropriate knowledge and expertise in developing relevant solutions to meet customer needs. It is for this reason that Liberty has associated with Right To Care Health Services (RTCHS).

RTCHS, is 100% owned by Right to Care, a non-profit organization in existence for more than 10 years which focuses primarily on the treatment and prevention of HIV & AIDS and TB. Its focus on innovation in technology and building capacity of human resources for health, results in quality care, treatment and support.

"On a broader level, our association with RTCHS demonstrates our commitment to meeting the needs of people living with HIV. RTCHS has provided us with expertise and information on HIV and people living with the condition – this data will enable us to further improve our offering to people living with HIV in the future,” comments Braudo.

"We remain committed to using what we know about our customers and their needs to develop innovative ways to meet those needs. We are proud to be able to apply our knowledge in a way which changes people’s realities everyday,” Braudo concludes.

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