Insurance companies will no longer be able to increase medical insurance charges for people who have previously suffered from long-term illnesses, consumer affairs minister Kris Peeters announced. At present anyone applying for health insurance must declare whether they have previously suffered from a serious illness such as cancer – information which is used to calculate the premiums they have to pay. Inevitably, someone who has suffered a serious illness or a long-term condition which is now under control, such as diabetes, will pay more than someone of the same age and circumstances who has been in relatively good health – up to eight times more, Peeters’ ministry said.
Peeters aims to introduce a “right to forget” into the law on insurance, so that former patients need not continue paying for a condition which is no longer extant. The rule would affect not only health insurance as such, but also mortgage insurance, where the borrower takes out a policy which, in the event of their demise, pays off the sum still outstanding on the mortgage.
Not only would insurance companies no longer be able to take account of past illnesses, the applicant for insurance would no longer be under an obligation to bring the matter up at all.
Peeters said he aims to amend the law before the end of the year.