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Insurers compensating less for mental health than physical illness is discriminatory according to judgement

Insurance coverage for mental health problems in Belgium
11:22 08/05/2022

Many insurers compensate less generously for the consequences of mental illness than for physical injury. In a recent judgment, the Mechelen labour court for the first time qualified this distinction as discriminatory, report Mediahuis newspapers.

A woman had taken legal action because her group disability insurance stipulated that “mental and personality disorders” could be compensated for up to two years. The judge ruled that this was discrimination based on health status.

Although this decision does not mean that all existing similar clauses are illegal, it’s nevertheless an important judgment, says lawyer Alexander Maes, author of a doctorate on psychological vulnerabilities and labour law.

Professional psychiatric associations are advocating for a ban on unequal treatment of mental and physical illnesses by insurance companies. The principle already exists in the Netherlands and the US.

Written by The Bulletin