Comments /537 Views / Wednesday, 17 February 2016 00:00
By Shanika Sriyananda
UNAIDS commended Janashakthi Insurance PLC, a premier insurance company in Sri Lanka, for taking the initiative in introducing an insurance coverage for people living with HIV as it would encourage them to obtain HIV testing and proper medication.
“Earlier no insurance company was willing to offer insurance policies for the HIV positive as their life span was short. But with regular Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) it has been proven that HIV infected people can prolong their lives as normal people. This is why we advocated that insurance companies to introduce a policy for HIV positive people,” Dr. Diyanath Ranatunge, the Country Manager of the UNAIDS, said.
He said if a young person in his twenties was diagnosed with HIV and he started medication early, he could live for nearly another five decades.
“This has been recognised by Janashakthi Insurance in designing this new insurance scheme for HIV positive people. This new move will give financial security to people living with HIV. It will also encourage other South Asian countries to motivate their insurance companies to initiate similar insurance policies for the HIV positive people in their countries,” he added.
People living with HIV have been denied of an insurance coverage for decades and the unique life insurance policy has been introduced by Janashakthi Insurance PLC for the first time in the South Asian region.
“Janashakthi Insurance looked at the possibilities of offering an insurance scheme for HIV positive people two decades back, but no company came forward to introduce an insurance scheme for these people. As an insurance company, we are always taking risks and by adding one more risk to our list, we have designed this insurance policy for those who are living with HIV/AIDS,” Janashakthi Insurance Founder Chandra Schaffter said.
He said this was an important step to bring the people living with HIV/AIDS, who were experiencing discrimination, into the treatment process.
He said that under the insurance policy it was mandatory for them to submit a treatment progress report from the doctor, noting this would encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to seek regular treatment.
“We want to give their families financial security since most of the people living with HIV are working and their families are depending on their monthly income,” he added.
Schaffter said it was difficult for cancer patients and also for those who have undergone bypass operations to get an insurance policy but this was now not the case for those living with HIV/AIDS.
“It is a big plus for HIV positive people. We are very grateful to UNAIDS as they supported Janashakthi Insurance company to make this policy a success,” he said adding that they hoped HIV positive people who were avoiding treatment would also obtain the benefits of the insurance coverage, which was exclusively designed for them.
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