Insurance firms are breaking privacy laws over sick workers

Insurance companies such as Achmea and De Goudse are structurally infringing on patients’ rights to privacy by pressuring employers for information about sick workers, according to television current affairs show Zembla.

Zembla will claim on Thursday evening that employers who have taken out insurance to cover the lost income of sick personnel are being pressured to provide details of the illness as part of a claim. If they refuse, the payments are blocked, Zembla states.

According to the Dutch privacy watchdog CBP, insurance companies are only allowed to judge a claim on the basis of the administrative details.

The insurers’ association has admitted there are ‘various shortcomings’ and that ‘privacy rules are not being applied across the board’, Zembla says.

Doctors say a test case should be brought before the courts. ‘We have agreed what the rules are but the rules are being broken,’ Lode Wigersma of the KNMG family doctors association told website