You should be aware of the financial issues that affect patients who are tested and treated for hepatitis C.
The Association of British Insurers advises that insurance companies shouldn't ask whether an applicant for life or health protection insurance has taken a hepatitis C test, had counselling in connection with such a test or received a negative test result. Doctors shouldn't reveal this information when writing reports and insurance companies will not expect this information to be provided.
Insurers may ask only whether someone has had a positive hepatitis C test result, is awaiting a test result or is receiving treatment for hepatitis C.
Depending on disease progression and prognosis, there will be a range of outcomes for those testing positive for hepatitis C, from standard rates or a small loading to a larger loading or refusal of cover in some cases. Specialists should be able to provide the necessary information either directly or via the GP.
Hepatitis C ex gratia payment scheme (the Skipton Fund)
The Skipton Fund was set up to administer the UK-wide ex gratia payment scheme for people infected with hepatitis C from NHS blood or blood products. Improved financial support has recently been announced for those who acquired hepatitis C infection in this way. The families of patients who died before 29 August 2003 may also now be eligible, as may be others connected with them.
Read more information about new financial support arrangements
People who wish to make an application can contact the Skipton Fund for a copy of the registration form. This can be obtained from them or downloaded from the fund's website - see below.
Address: Skipton Fund, PO Box 50107, London SW1H 0YF
Registration helpline: 020 7808 1160
Read more on the Skipton Fund website.
The Caxton Foundation
People who have received payments from the Skipton Fund may also be eligible to receive additional discretionary payments from the Caxton Foundation, if they are in financial need as a result of their infection.
Claimants will also need to be able to demonstrate that the help they are seeking is genuinely necessary and cannot be financed from their own resources. Those who think they may be eligible to receive assistance from the Caxton Foundation should register using the website. The foundation will begin to initiate payments from November 2011.
More details about the Caxton Foundation and how to register.