The Official State Gazette published, on June 12, 2018, the modification of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users that puts an end to the episodes of discrimination in the contracting of insurance for people carrying the virus of the HIV , linked to the development of the AIDS disease.
The entry into force of this legal modification, long claimed by entities such as the State Coordinator of HIV and AIDS (CESIDA), is “eradicate from the legal system those aspects that limit equal opportunities and promote discrimination for any reason, in this case , for being carriers of HIV / AIDS, or other health conditions, in regard to the scope of discriminatory content in certain legal transactions, benefits or services.
Fighting entities in favor of people affected by HIV have repeatedly denounced the fact that many of them were discarded at the time of signing health or life insurance to, for example, apply for loans or mortgage loans with the consequent damages . In other cases, extra requirements have been stipulated in terms of checking the contractor’s health status or extra costs linked to the illness suffered have been proposed. Therefore, the preamble of the new law, of the first signed by Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government, proposes the fight against “the social stigma and legal discrimination of people living with HIV”.
Official sources of the UNESPA insurance company deny that there is discrimination and have told LaVanguardia.com that the regulatory change “protects companies to take into account the risks that under any circumstances affect the health of people” and promote the contracting of insurance under these established criteria in a clear and objective manner as it has been happening up to now in other situations such as, for example, people with disabilities.
It will be at this moment the companies that will have to capture this new situation in the contracting of their policies, UNESPA exposes, according to its own competence in the market and its specialization, mainly in the most affected branches of Health and Life.
The Government gives a year to extend the measures against discrimination to other diseases
The new norm determines that “those clauses, stipulations, conditions or pacts that exclude one of the parties, because they have HIV / AIDS or other health conditions will be null and void ” and establishes that “the waiver of the provisions of this provision shall be null and void. the party that has HIV / AIDS or other health conditions . ” At the same time, the Government is given a period of one year to extend these anti-discrimination measures to other diseases and in this same sense.
The legislative amendment includes the change of law 50/1980 of October 8, of the Insurance Contract, through the first additional provision: “People with HIV / AIDS or other health conditions can not be discriminated against. In particular, the denial of access to hiring, the establishment of hiring processes different from those usually used by the insurer or the imposition of more onerous conditions, due to having HIV / AIDS or other health conditions, are prohibited, except that they are based on justified, proportionate and reasonable causes, which are previously and objectively documented. “
The Health and Life companies fear a new uncertain scenario with the new policies and the management of those already subscribed
Jordi Parrilla, director of the Auditorium Foundation of the Col·legi de Mediadores d’Assegurances of Barcelona explains that “the declaration of health to which the insured responds until now meant that the insurer could reject the candidate, exclude certain pre-existing diseases or apply a loading”.
For the sector, explains Parrilla, an undesirable scope of action for insurers can be opened by introducing a level of uncertainty “that would undoubtedly be the worst scenario for consumers and also for the insurance sector, which needs a stable framework to calculate the cost of the benefits that he must face “. Meanwhile, it remains to be determined in what way, this expert asks, “will companies have to assume the coverage that until now were excluded and what effect all this will have on reinsurance”.
Since CESIDA, which together with several Spanish universities such as Alcalá, has repeatedly denounced these types of discrimination, they have praised the approval of the new law that will allow, says its president, Ramón Espacio, to end the social stigma that “may have serious consequences for the normal development of life of these people affected by HIV “.
More linked to the insurance sector, the conviction to Spain in October 2010 for the case of a Spanish citizen with HIV who after having signed an insurance policy is declared in a situation of absolute permanent disability. After claiming compensation, the insurer denies it. In the trial, the company’s defense requests the medical file of the plaintiff to which it is opposed while requesting measures of protection of its privacy. The plaintiff’s requests were rejected and the claim dismissed since the insurance company had not been informed of the state of health of the plaintiff at the time of insuring the insurance. Finally, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned the Spanish State to pay the plaintiff for the moral damage suffered, as stated in a March 2017 report prepared by CESIDA and the Legal Clinic for Social Justice of the University From Valencia.