Hospitalization insurance must cover costs related to attempted suicides and additional premiums must be prohibited in this context, believes CD&V MP Els Van Hoof, who has tabled a bill on the subject.
Every year, some 2,000 people commit suicide in Belgium and, according to estimates that are difficult to cross-check, between 22,000 and 44,000 attempts occur annually, of which 5,000 lead to hospitalization. That these facts are excluded from insurance accentuates the distress of the patients concerned. “Many people with suicidal thoughts already feel an intense sense of guilt towards their family, their environment or society. That they have to pay the costs after an act of desperation makes them feel even more guilty”, underlines the MP. In addition, people who have committed a suicide attempt also find it more difficult to take out hospitalization insurance, or an additional premium is billed to them, she continues. “They are punished twice. Instead, we should support people who attempt suicide, help them heal and not stigmatize them forever.” In his bill, Els Van Hoof therefore suggests that it is impossible to refuse insurance or to charge an additional premium because of a past suicide attempt. Nor should the policyholder be required to provide this type of information in order to enter into a contract. (Belga)
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