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No insurance for new mother who 'didn't lose weight fast enough'

David Landes · 14 May 2009, 06:17

Published: 14 May 2009 06:17 GMT+02:00

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“I’m 26-years-old and have never been sick. This is unbelievably insulting,” Anna Holten told the Expressen newspaper.

The woman, who became a mother seven months ago, is 169 centimetres tall and weighs 100 kilogrammes.

Her measurements correspond to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of roughly 35 – a measurement which the Trygg-Hansa insurance company feels makes her too high of a risk for the health, accident, and life insurance policy Holten sought.

Upon learning of her rejection, Holten contacted the Trygg-Hansa risk analyst to explain that she was still trying to work off the weight she gained while pregnant.

“You should have lost the weight by now,” the analyst told her.

According to Trygg-Hansa product manager Björn Sporrong, people with a BMI of 35 are “extremely overweight” and right at his company’s limit for granting coverage.

“Exceedingly overweight people run a significantly higher risk for suffering from many serious diseases,” he told Expressen.

Trygg-Hansa spokesperson Malou Sjörin concurred.

“Even if you’re not sick today, you can be in the future,” Sjörin told the Metro newspaper.

Story continues below…

The whole episode has prompted Holten to look for a new insurance company.

“It’s totally unacceptable that I’m being discriminated against because of my weight when I’m not sick,” she told Expressen.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:40 May 14, 2009 by voiceofreason
I am sorry you feel bad about your treatment by the insurance company, but they just told you the hones truth.

100kg is way to much for a lady that's 169cm. Los some or your baby may lose you.
11:05 May 14, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
"It's totally unacceptable that I'm being discriminated against because of my weight when I'm not sick," she told Expressen.

Forget her weight problem, she should be refused coverage on the grounds of stupidity. If she was "sick", her premia would really go through the roof!

As a side bar, this is only the beginning of how risk premia is calculated. Already in the EU there is much debate on use of genetic testing for insurance companies. My own feeling is that it all be self-defeating for the insurance companies as most people will think "If I'm healthy enough to be insured, I probably don't need it anyway" - Q.E.D.
15:08 May 14, 2009 by apostolos1975

Could you provide some ref to the above claim about gen testing and risk prem cause I have the exact opposite info (but can't find the source either)
19:48 May 15, 2009 by sunnchilde
What's going on here? I thought medical coverage was universal and mandatory in Sweden? If companies can just arbitrarily throw people out, then it's no better than what we have in America.

I thought Sweden was supposed to be a civilized country where the government actually cared about it's people? Was that just all BS?
22:50 May 15, 2009 by 007
this insurance is not health insurance, i.e. she is still covered for medical coverage. this insurance is an extra insurance to cover other expenses or loss of earnings if she were to get sick above and beyond the medical care.

i read that the insurance company didn't take into account whether a potential policy holder smokes or not. seems rather inconsistent
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