This article was translated into English by ECPC. Please find the original Dutch version from NFK here.

Clean-slate policy for ex-cancer patients makes it through the Netherlands Council of Ministers

On July 10th, Minister Hoekstra announced that the ‘clean-slate policy’ has been officially approved by the Council of Ministers after calls from the NFK last year to bring the policy into action. This marks an important milestone, as it means that by January 2021 at the latest, cancer survivors, who have been in complete remission of the disease for a certain period of time, will no longer be obliged to state that they have had cancer when they apply for a death insurance policy (ORV) or funeral insurance policy.

In recent months, the Dutch Federation of Cancer Patients Organisations (NFK) has been working with the Netherlands Ministry of Finance and the Dutch Association of Insurers on implementing the final details of this decision. The policy states that having received a cancer diagnosis in the past can no longer be used as a reason to be refused a death insurance or funeral insurance policy, or to receive an inexplicable increase in the premium. There are however, some qualifying factors to the policy:

In complete remission from cancer for 5 or 10 years

To qualify for the clean-slate policy, a cancer survivor has to be in complete remission from cancer for 10 years. This period is reduced to five years for those who were younger than 21 when they were diagnosed with the disease. The policy is based on the model that has been in force in France since 2017.

“For years, we have worked extremely hard on making it possible for cancer survivors to qualify for affordable death insurance, or even for any death insurance at all. It’s fantastic that politicians have heard our voice, and are now also implementing this policy in the Netherlands,” says Arja Broenland, director/administrator of NFK.

Start with types of cancer that have the biggest effect on grassroots supporters

Together with the Dutch Association of Insurers and the Dutch Cancer Registry, NFK is developing a special ‘period table’ to identify the cancers that qualify for a period of less than 10 years. This table will include the most common cancers affecting the 18 to 39 age group such as ovarian, testicle, skin, and breast cancers, and certain types of blood cancer.

Figures released by market research firm Ipsos show that almost 70% of people who take out death insurance are in this age category. NFK will also expand the table to include the cancers largely affecting the 40 years or older category.

Advances in medical science and better treatment methods means cancers and stages can be added in the future.

Information needed for correct implementation

Cancer survivors have to be made aware of the scheme. “This requires all those involved to give out proper information,” says Broenland. “It’s also important that complete remission is recorded in the patient’s medical records, so it can always be found. That’s why we’re appealing to oncology specialists to take note of this policy”.