Current Affairs
No health insurance for the disabled or those who suffer chronic illness

Those who suffer chronic illness or disability feel discriminated against when insurance companies do not allow them to take out an insurance policy on their lives, making it impossible for them to take out a bank loan or start their own businesses.

From a survey carried out by TVM, an Association which represents persons born with heart defects has began talks with the government and insurance companies hoping to find a solution.

People born with chronic conditions or who are currently receiving treatment for cancer find insurance companies have closed their doors on them refusing them an insurance cover on their lives.

David Aquilina from Beating Hearts, an organisation set up to support children born with heart defects (and their parents), said it is a great injustice because without this insurance these people could not get loans from banks. “Nor can you start a business, or buy your house and this in turn creates other problems in the future because if a person is not given the ability to work, in future this will probably create issues of social housing or have people dependent on government ”

It is estimated that hundreds have been refused life insurance. The President of the Association of insurance companies, Adrian Galea said that although he could understand the frustration of the persons concerned, the insurance business is based on risk analysis when determining the payment or premium required for such persons to be insured.

“Unfortunately we can not interfere with the operation of our members and every single insurance company considers cases individually.”. Mr Aquilina said that in recent months he had been in talks with the Ministry for the Family and submitted a proposal for a joint policy between the government and insurance companies.

‘Insurance companies that provide life insurance, but exclude that part it considers a risk or disability; the Government then steps in to plug that part of the policy. ”

Asked for the Association’s reaction to this proposal, Mr Galea said that one has to see the details and how it would work. “We must be careful to not give the impression that the Government can step into the insurer’s shoes or do the same work of an insurance company or create conflict with the insurance company. As the saying goes, one can only entrust things to people who can do the job.

A Spokesperson for the Ministry of Family and Social Solidarity said that so far progress has been made in the talks that started last year but stressed that the Government was considering other solutions.

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