Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Couple deals with herpes and health insurance

In some states you can legally be denied health insurance for having herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases. This does not mean that you will be denied coverage. There are companies that will offer coverage and those that will not.

Take a minute to understand the determining factors involving this disease, state laws and the health insurance. To compare insurance rates instantly, just enter your zip code above now!

What is herpes?

Herpes is a disease caused by the viruses of HSV-1 or HSV-2. Many affected individuals will not know they have the disease, as there are usually only minimal symptoms at first.

When major symptoms do occur, they usually come in the form of blisters around the genitals or rectum area. When these blisters break, they leave tender ulcers behind and these can take weeks to heal. As years pass, though the infection may stay in your body for years on end, the outbreaks of genital blisters tend to decrease.

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What are the effects of herpes?

What does this mean for your overall health? Some doctors have studied the psychological effects of herpes, which causes stress in people who cope with the illness.

Another problem is that genital herpes can lead to fatal infections in babies; thus, women are strongly advised to avoid herpes during pregnancy and vice versa. In fact, women who do have herpes and who choose to give birth usually have to undergo a cesarean delivery.

Herpes has also been linked to the HIV virus, which causes aids. At the very least, it can make AIDS patients or pre-AIDS patients more infectious.

The major differences between HSV-1 and HSV-2 is that the former usually appears as cold sores on the mouth where as the latter primarily affects the genitals. What causes these blisters to appear? The virus attacks the cells of the outer layer of skin, causing formation of blisters.

The virus is transported through the bloodstream and travels all the way down to the nerve roots. Whenever the skin is damaged around the infection area, the possibility of new herpes blisters developing increases.

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Is herpes a serious illness for insurance companies?

Can the insurance company deny you coverage based on a herpes diagnosis? Technically, the insurance company has the right to deny you coverage based on any pre-existing medical condition. The question is, will they? It’s important to emphasize that, unlike AIDS, herpes is not fatal, nor is it believed to cause any critical effects. At worse, it is an indefinite skin irritation.

Nevertheless, some insurance companies may deny you coverage if you have herpes, based on the fact that treatment requires expensive prescription drugs. Many states do have laws in place that allow insurance companies to deny insurance based on an STD diagnosis. Still, herpes is hardly the risk that heart disease or cancer is. It is not going to cost the insurance company millions of dollars. The only exception might be if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Seeking a variety of health insurance quotes will work to your advantage.

The insurance company may want more information on your condition. They may ask questions regarding the last time you suffered an outbreak. Some individuals may decide to stop short of telling the insurance company that they have herpes. This may be acceptable, provided the insurance company doesn’t directly ask if you have an STD. You must answer truthfully if you have been diagnosed with any STD within a specific period of time. However, if the diagnosis falls out of the stated timeframe, revealing your infection may not be necessary. The issue is lying to the insurance company. Never take this route, because the lie may be discovered, and the insurance company will not think twice about canceling the policy.

What is the worst case scenario?

Herpes is actually one of the least problematic infections you can get; it does not affect your overall health (except in the case of making AIDS more contagious) and does not affect your energy levels. What may happen, and this is if the insurance company considers herpes a major concern, is that you will asked to sign a “rider” for an exclusion of all herpes treatment. This is especially true for pregnancy related treatments. This is dependent on state law and whether riders are allowed for pre-existing conditions. Since herpes complications are usually minor, a rider for exclusion for a single individual is of no special concern.

This is hardly an unusual situation, considering that the U.S. reports 16.2% (about 1 in 6 people) of the population younger than the age of 49 currently have this infection. Both types of herpes viruses can be spread through sore contact and some skin contact. The second type of herpes virus is usually only spread through sexual intercourse.

Do not let embarrassment or fear stop you from finding adequate heath insurance coverage. Use an insurance quote tool right now to look for an affordable policy. Online rate quotes are ready the moment your enter your zip code, so do it now!