Tuesday, April 04, 2006

HIV survival bad for business survival bad for business

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- When M. Smith learned she had AIDS in the early 1990's, she figured it was a death sentence. "It was mind numbing," Smith says. She was 35, healthy, and never suspected that an ex-boyfriend, who died years earlier of AIDS related complications, had infected her.

Smith, who also had cancer at the time, says her prognosis gave her less than two years to live. So, she started to get her affairs in order.

One day, flipping through a magazine for HIV positive people, Smith, who asked we shield her identity, saw an ad offering to buy her $150,000 life insurance policy. Smith had no children and no husband.

According to the contract she signed, the company, Life Partners, would pay her $90,000 up front, and cover her combined life and health insurance premiums if she lived longer than two years. When she died, the company would collect the full value of the policy, potentially a windfall profit of more than 60 percent, depending on when Smith died.

That was 12 years ago...More

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