BBYSOMMFMF and I are on our way to SMX to prepare our booth for tomorrow’s event. Abot langit ang kaba niya. Hahaha!

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I just found a section of a National Institutes of Health dedicated for HIV - AIDS that I believe is very helpful for anyone who would want to get educated regarding the medical condition. It’s very informative.

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As I promised on my previous entry, I did my best to know as much as I could about getting an insurance policy for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in the Philippines.

Some time last week, I met with my manager again and asked about this very concern. No sugar coating, no beating around the bush: “What’s the process in getting a policy for someone diagnosed with HIV?”

I could almost see a question mark of confusion in her forehead. But she did her best to answer the question. She said, like any other applicant who “declared” a medical condition, s/he would have to undergo medical examination and her application will be reviewed.

So I asked: “What’s the chance of it being approved or declined?” Her answer was that it would depend on a lot of things and she really wouldn’t be able to answer that accurately.

I thought that that answer was very vague so I asked her: “Do you know of anyone who, at the very least, applied for a policy with us who declared that s/he has HIV?”

Her answer was as straight up “No.” And as far as she knows, she have not heard of anyone with an active policy with a “declared” HIV positive status, but then again she followed it up with: “But that’s not saying much because, as you know, these types of information are kept confidential.”

But basically, processing a policy for PLHIV is unheard of. At least within our team. So either no PLHIV has applied for a policy OR no one ever declared when they applied. I am quite certain that it is the latter.

This actually was not very surprising. I would understand why someone would not disclose their HIV status. First, there’s the old story o

f stigma. And second, they would of course think that this would be a huge factor for their application to be declined.

(It still sounds funny to me whenever I say that a policy has to be “applied.” Up until I became a financial consultant, I always saw it as something being sold to clients, that the client really just have to say yes or no to it. But now I understand the importance of having a policy for an individual and the huge benefit of having one. Still, it sounds weird. Anyway.)

As a Financial Consultant, it is my duty to make sure that there is no misrepresentation and that no fraudulent concealment that will happen.

But what happens if a PLHIV has applied for a policy, did not declare his/her HIV, and got approved?

As I quoted on my previous entry, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8504 also known as the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 estates:

"Sec. 39. Exclusion from credit and insurance services. — All credit and loan services, including health, accident and life insurance shall not be denied to a person on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status: Provided, That the person with HIV has not concealed or misrepresented the fact to the insurance company upon application. Extension and continuation of credit and loan shall likewise not be denied solely on the basis of said health condition.”

So, there lies our problem. This statement would protect a PLHIV not to be denied of his right to his policy if s/he did not conceal or misrepresent him/herself when s/he applied for the policy.

Okay, example, you applied for a policy, you got approved and then after the issuance of the policy, you found out that you have HIV, then Sec. 39 protects you from being denied of your benefits for have that policy.

So it is very advisable that once you have a policy before your diagnosis of HIV, you make sure that your policy will not lapse because it would be harder for you to get a policy after you are diagnosed.

But, our problem was: what if the PLHIV did “conceal” and “misrepresent” him/herself and did not declare his HIV status.

I was able to read the full text of INSURANCE CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES through CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY. (Please feel free to click link to read the PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 612 yourself)

The most significant part of this Presidential Decree for the purpose of our discussion is this:

"Sec. 48. Whenever a right to rescind a contract of insurance is given to the insurer by any provision of this chapter, such right must be exercised previous to the commencement of an action on the contract.

After a policy of life insurance made payable on the death of the insured shall have been in force during the lifetime of the insured for a period of two years from the date of its issue or of its last reinstatement, the insurer cannot prove that the policy is void ab initio or is rescindible by reason of the fraudulent concealment or misrepresentation of the insured or his agent.”

Someone needs to explain the first paragraph to me further but basically, here are the points that we can take from this:

1. After the policy has been issued, the insurer has 2 years to still “rescind” (meaning revoke, cancel, or repeal).

2. If the policy has been “in force” meaning active and paid for for more than 2 years, “the insurer cannot prove that the policy is void ab initio or is rescindible by reason of the fraudulent concealment or misrepresentation of the insured or his agent.”

Which means that after 2 years of paying the premium, even if the insurer finds out that there was a misrepresentation or fraudulent concealment, they can no longer declare the policy as void. They had 2 years to do that and if they didn’t then the insured is free to keep his policy forever. The only reason now to void the policy is there was no payment of the premium.

At first I was having second thoughts about this. I was thinking, after 2 years that the policy is “in force” and the PLHIV died, would the insurer really give the sum assured and benefits even if they found out that the reason for the person’s death is related to HIV?

And then I read this:

"Sec. 180-A. The insurer in a life insurance contract shall be liable in case of suicides only when it is committed after the policy has been in force for a period of two years from the date of its issue or of its last reinstatement, unless the policy provides  a shorter period: Provided, however, That suicide committed in the state of insanity shall be compensable regardless of the date of commission. (As amended  by Batasang Pambansa Blg. 874)."

Basically this states that someone who had a policy for more than 2 years decided to kill him/herself, the insurer would still be “liable” to give the sum assured and any benefits that comes with it to the insured’s beneficiaries.

Which made me realize, if someone who committed suicide can claim his insurance after his death, then what reason is there for the insurer not to give that same privilege to someone who died of HIV? If they won’t, then one can just simply declare it suicide.

And believe me, PLHIV, once they had overcome their depression and initial thoughts of killing one’s self, are one of the most (if not the most) willed-to-live people.  

I even bothered my best friend, who is studying to become a lawyer, about the matter just to check my understanding. He did discuss my concerns with me but he said this as soon as he found out I’m going to ask a lot of legal questions: 

"Wait lang, before you continue, I must state I am not giving legal advice as I am not a member of the bar. I am only making chika.

May ganong effect. Charot.

Continue”

So yeah, we were only “making chika.” Hahaha!

I would still do my best to learn as much as I could about processing a policy for a PLHIV and will write again about it as soon as I have more information. 

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As you would have read in my previous entry (This is me talking to my dear imaginary readers. I missed addressing my imaginary readers. Hello imaginary readers!), “90. Help Thy Self,” one of the ways that I thought I would be able to help myself financially was to get myself licensed as a Financial Consultant.

So I did. I attended all the needed training, took and passed the licensure exam, and is now officially a licensed financial consultant.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I learned and how, apparently, getting yourself protected (or “insured”) can be very beneficial to a person.

Just to name a few, aside from the traditional benefit of getting a lump sum of money when a protected person dies, policies now come with benefits such as receiving funds when a protected person gets critically ill, but what’s more appealing to me is that the amount that you pay actually gets invested which you can “withdraw” after some time if you choose to. So it’s really a better way of saving compared to having your money rest in a savings or checking account account because one, it earns more interest and two, it will help you save more effectively, and more disciplined. 

Last Saturday, I met with my manager and he me taught things I needed to know about my new role. One of the things that we did is to fill out my own policy application forms.

So I was diligently filling out all the information needed when I suddenly felt very uncomfortable when I reached this part of the application form. 

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It said:

"2. Have you ever had or been told to have or been treated for tumor or cancer, raised cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, heart and lung disease, diabetes, mental disorder, kidney disease, positive HIV, AIDS, liver disease, any form of hepatitis or any illness, disorder, operation, physical disability or deformity, dismemberment or abnormal bodily growth or an accident?”

I seriously stopped filling out the form and immediately twitted this:

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"Now what… :-/ should I lie??"

And attached a photo of that part of the form.

I actually received 2 replies. And they are extreme opposites.

The first I received as a tweet reply which says:

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"Yes. That’s the simplest answer I can give you. Otherwise don’t bother buying a life insurance. Invest your money somewhere else."

The other person actually sent me a direct message and said (and I will translate some parts because they are written in Filipino):

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Don’t lie about your HIV status. They can use it to sue you in the future. It can also be used as grounds for your insurance to be revoked even if you already paid the fees. It might be difficult for you to find an insurance because of your status but that’s better compared to the problems you will encounter if the insurance company finds out.

So, that night, I did my best to learn as much as I could on what it would mean for a person living with HIV if he did want to get a life insurance. 

I think the best way for me to share this is by simply quoting other websites which discussed things about the matter as well. So here we go.

http://www.aidsmap.com/Life-insurance/page/1501282/:

"Essentially, someone living with HIV is still more likely to be turned down for life insurance by mainstream insurers than someone who doesn’t have HIV. Those that are offered cover will pay more than someone without HIV, although roughly the same premium as other pre-existing conditions such as cancer or certain kinds of heart conditions.

The latest research shows that an increasing number of insurers will cover someone with HIV. A survey carried out by financial advisers Unusual Risks in November 2012 found that of the nine largest life assurance companies in the UK, six (66.6%) said they would cover someone with HIV. This was an improvement on 2011 when only 50% of insurers were offering a suitable product.

The life insurers which cover people with HIV are: Prudential, Liverpool Victoria, Bright Grey, Scottish Provident, Zurich and Aviva.”

I am glad to know that one of the above mentioned companies is actually the company that I am associated with. I am yet to find out what the process is though in the Philippines specifically.

Alright, let me give you more.

https://www.trustedchoice.com/life-insurance/coverage-types/critical-illness/hiv/:

More and more insurance companies are offering life insurance policies tailored to individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV. Generally, traditional forms of life insurance coverage such as term life and permanent policies are not readily available for most HIV patients, though new policy types have been created for these clients. The amount of coverage in these new policies is much lower than what is available in traditional life insurance policies, which is something to keep in mind.

If you have purchased a life insurance policy before you were diagnosed with HIV, it is very important that you keep the policy in force and do not let it lapse. If you do let it lapse, it will be challenging if not impossible, to get similar coverage in the future.

The types of life insurance coverage available for individuals infected with HIV include:

  • Group employment life insurance: Many employers offer group life insurance coverage to employees, so you might want to select employers who offer life insurance in their benefits package.
  • High risk insurance specialists: There are certain insurance companies that specialize in providing coverage for high risk individuals with severe health problems such as HIV. Speak to an independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice network to locate these specialized companies and learn what life insurance options are available.
  • Guarantee issue life insurance: This is a policy available to everyone, regardless of health status, that provides limited life insurance coverage and generally does not involve any medical history questions. They come with a higher price tag, due to the higher risk pool.
  • Critical illness life insurance: A number of insurers provide specialized life insurance for people with critical illnesses. Some insurers do require that you have a medical exam while others do not. Policy coverage options will vary from company to company.”

I understand that the information that one would usually find regarding the matter are articles based in other countries (usually US and UK). But in the Philippines, our REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8504 also known as the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 does say something about this:

"Sec. 39. Exclusion from credit and insurance services. — All credit and loan services, including health, accident and life insurance shall not be denied to a person on the basis of his/her actual, perceived or suspected HIV status: Provided, That the person with HIV has not concealed or misrepresented the fact to the insurance company upon application. Extension and continuation of credit and loan shall likewise not be denied solely on the basis of said health condition.”

I promise to learn more about this issue and I promise to write about this again in the future. I’d be very glad to be the person to help PLHIV in the Philippines to get our life insurance policies. :D

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Asker

isurvivedhiv asked:

Malapit na anniv ng status ko. Sana mag improve na cd4 ko. Thanks for having a blog like this.

I’m glad to know that you find my blog to be of any help. If you did your best to live a healthier, less stress filled life and you adhered to all your prescribed medications, I’m pretty sure mag i-improve ang CD4 mo. All the best! Take care!

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As I wrote on my previous entry, I’m doing my best to help myself get out of this financial mess I managed to put myself into.

Apparently, it’s worse than I thought. I can’t even bring myself to write it in detail. It’s too stressful to think about.

So, here’s the plan.

I’ll continue working my ass off on my current job. Hopefully, the commission that they promised will be fixed soon. (My current job is sales related) And then hopefully I get promoted soon so my basic salary will increase as well.

But I’ll never know when those two things will happen. So I have to do something else.

My multi level marketing is not helping so much currently. I do get to sell glutathione and other products once in a while but my group is practically dead. I’ll have to create a new group if I want my networking business to grow. I can do that but that would still take a lot of time.

A pozzie friend suggested to join him on his part time work. Like I said, I’m open to any suggestions right now. He’s into selling life insurance. So last Thursday, I attended their seminar.

I tweeted that the seminar sounded a lot like a networking seminar. It really did. The only difference is that they did not ask me to buy a package for a large amount. Which is great because I can’t buy anything with a large amount right now. It really is a job.

The only expense is a payment for the training and the licensure exam to become a licensed insurance agent. It would total to a little more than 1 thousand pesos.

It’s a good company. The company ranked second in the Philippines back in 2012. (2013 ranking is apparently not available yet). Also, I thought I might be competent to do this. I do have people in mind that might be interested in getting policies. So I decided to go for it.

My training will start on Tuesday and it will last for 4 days, at 3 hours per day. The 5th day would be the licensure exam. I will be going there directly from my current job.

It will be a bit tiring, but I need this. I need to help myself.

I’m just praying really really hard that He will guide me through this. I want to be financially free. And when that happens, I promise, I will be a lot wiser about my decisions.

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I am in so much trouble. I’m not even sure how and why it became this bad but it’s really bad.

To put it simply, I am 7 thousand pesos behind on my finances every month. Which means that if I can’t figure things out, my debt will increase 7 thousand pesos every month. Currently, my debt is so close to becoming 6 digits. No decimal points. Yes, it’s tremendously bad.

I really don’t know what to do. I’m scared. Seriously.

I’m just glad that I’m not getting sick and I don’t need to buy expensive medicine. I have no idea what I would do if that happens. But my CD4 count and my Viral Load count are way overdue but I can’t have them done because of my finances. I know my health should be my top most priority right now but what can I do? I’m praying really hard that my CD4 is better and that my Viral Load is still undetectable, because at the moment, there’s no way for me to find out.

I’m trying my best not to dwell on this because if I do, I’d be so stressed I’d die. I’m very hopeful that I will be able to get pass this and this is just a phase in my long successful life. It’s just that right now I’m a mess and that’s all I think about all day.

I’m considering my options and I am doing things to help myself overcome this. I do have a job, my only source of income right now.

My current basic salary, as it shows on my contract, is 50% more than my previous job. (I’ve written something about my salary on my previous job a few entries back so go ahead and back read if you’re interested and do the Math. Lol.) I was ecstatic when I signed my contract. The bad news is, tax and government cobtributions eat a big chunk of it. So frustrating. It makes me more eager to use my PWD card abusively. Hahaha! So basically, the increase in the salary that I was so excited and happy about was literally none existent.

So right now, I’m working extra hard and I’m trying my best to do extra well hoping that my efforts gets notice and the bosses appreciate my qorth and promote me. Soon. (Please, Lord, make it happen.)

I’m also looking at the option of doing an extra job. I’m thinking online, home based kind of job. Right now I only work 8 hours a day, including lunch and breaks (which I find pretty neat!) So I really think I can do another. Odesk maybe? I have an Odesk account. Never got to use it though. This might be a good time to explore that road again.

I’m also considering selling items online. Apparel maybe? This would mean I have to have some for investment, right? Well maybe I can sell my own pre loved-stuff. I don’t have a lot and I’m not sure if anyone qould buy them. But what the hell. I’m desperate.

What if I offer my sevices. Well, what kind of services? Uhm… Well, I could… uhm… No.

So my dear imaginary reader, if you have any ideas, please feel free to tell me. Do you have a business I can help run for you? Do you have a product I can help sell? Do you need a writer for anything? A product description or blog feature maybe? Do you need a virtual assistant? A personal assitant? Right now, there’s no idea that I would consider bad. I will consider any suggestions. Please help. I need it badly.

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