Reduced Mortgages for Cancer Survivors

In an encouraging development, individuals who have successfully beaten cancer may soon be eligible for discounted mortgage rates in the Czech Republic. Cancer survivors face considerable challenges in obtaining life insurance, even if they completed treatment years ago. As a result, they often have to settle for higher mortgage interest rates than others. However, thanks to new European regulations set to be implemented in 2025, Czech insurance companies plan to adopt a more accommodating approach even before then.

The proposed change has received praise from the National Association of Patient Organizations, with its chairman, Robert Hejzák, stating that if the new rules allow cancer survivors to be insured under standard conditions one year after completing treatment without being considered at risk of relapse, it would be a significant step forward. However, the practical implications of these changes remain to be seen.

While the forthcoming regulations have been a driving force behind insurance companies reevaluating their policies, it is primarily the result of European legislation rather than pure benevolence. The European Parliament recently approved a directive requiring member states to ensure equal access to financial services for cancer patients in remission by 2025. This directive aims to introduce the concept of the “right to be forgotten” into practice, which Czech insurance companies are already considering. However, this will not be implemented on a blanket basis.

European and Czech insurance companies are cautious about ignoring the risk of potential relapses for their clients. Currently, the debate revolves around determining the number of years that must elapse after the completion of treatment for the diagnosis to be formally disregarded. The European Union initially proposed a period of 10 years for adults and five years less for children and adolescents. However, some member states pushed for longer durations. Ultimately, an agreement was reached to set the limit at 15 years for adults and ten years for children.

Commenting on these developments, Member of the European Parliament Kateřina Konečná, who served as the rapporteur for the directive, stated that if the Czech Republic wanted to be more progressive and establish a 10-year limit, there would be no obstacles to its implementation. It is worth noting that the voluntary solutions offered by Czech insurance companies do not directly respond to the upcoming directive. It may not be as stringent as the EU regulations.

According to experts involved in the discussions, Czech data indicates that the mortality rate among cancer patients seven years after treatment is not significantly high. This insight could sway insurance companies to no longer deny coverage to patients in remission after this period. Annually, over 87,000 individuals are diagnosed with malignant tumors, and approximately 600,000 people in the Czech Republic live with or have conquered cancer.

This progressive step by Czech insurance companies will provide relief for cancer survivors seeking mortgages and represent a shift towards greater inclusivity and support for individuals who have conquered cancer.