- 1'30 min
In 2016 progress on the right to be forgotten for former patients
The new Health Law adopted in January 2016 creates the notion in banking of the "right to be
forgotten" with the aim of improving access to loans for people who have suffered from certain
illnesses in the past. The measure concerns five types of cancer and hepatitis C and could be
extended to other conditions in the near future.
Introduced in the AERAS Convention in September 2015, the right to be forgotten means that a
certain length of time after the end of their treatment, people who have suffered from certain
cancers do not have to declare their illness to insurance companies when taking out loan insurance
for a mortgage, for example.
The Law of 26 January 2016 clarified how this measure would be applied. In concrete terms, there
are two provisions that concern loan insurance:
- On the one hand, insurers no longer have the right to collect medical information on cancer
10 years after the end of the treatment (5 years for cancers occurring before the policyholder was
18 years old); this is a genuine "right to be forgotten" since the borrower no longer has to
declare such illnesses.
- On the other hand, higher premiums and coverage exclusions are also prohibited for certain
low grade cancers, from 3 to 10 years after the end of the treatment in the absence of a relapse.
This applies to breast and cervical cancer, skin cancer (melanoma) and viral hepatitis C (1 year
after the end of treatment in the absence of a relapse). Likewise for thyroid and testicle cancer.
However, the borrower must declare these conditions on the health questionnaire, without the
insurer being able to tighten the conditions of acceptance of the application.
Taking account of progress in treatment
The grid for these conditions, cancer and others, is available on the AERAS Convention website and will
be updated regularly, in particular to take account of the work of the Institut National du Cancer so that
"insurance conditions take account of progress in treatment", in accordance with the wishes of Marisol
Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health. There are already plans for certain chronic conditions to
be added to the initial list of conditions concerned in the near future, thereby widening the scope of the
right to be forgotten.