Hospitalisation insurance must cover costs after suicide attempt

Every hospitalisation insurance must from now on cover costs after a suicide attempt and a previous attempt may no longer be a reason to refuse hospitalisation insurance. That is stated in a bill that was unanimously approved in the Chamber of Representatives on Thursday.

Today, people who end up in a Belgian hospital after a suicide attempt have to pay the hospital costs themselves. Insurers don’t intervene. This situation will change now, because of a bill that was unanimously approved in the Chamber of Representatives. The bill was proposed by MP Els Van Hoof of the Flemish Christian Democratic party CD&V.

"People who end up in hospital after a suicide attempt not only receive a severe mental blow, but they often are also presented with a hefty bill afterwards," declared Van Hoof. "Given the vicious circle between poverty and psychological problems, these financial worries further exacerbate the vulnerable mental state of the person concerned." Moreover, according to the MP, this is not only a financial issue, people are also made feel guilty.

From now on, insurers will no longer be able to refuse to cover these costs. They will also no longer be allowed to charge additional premiums or exclude clients from insurance coverage for certain hospitalisation costs. Until today, it was also more difficult for people who attempted suicide to take out hospitalisation insurance, or they were charged an additional premium. Moreover, the bill stipulates that people are not obliged to disclose this information before entering into an insurance contract.

About 2,000 people commit suicide every year in Belgium. With an average suicide rate estimated at 17 per 100,000 inhabitants, the Belgian average is considerably higher than the EU average. There are between 22,000 and 44,000 suicide attempts reported each year in the country, of which almost 5,000 are estimated to lead to hospitalisation.

Ambulance at a hospital in Flanders © BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND


Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels