Health insurance: Freedom of belief does not constitute a health card without a photo

Health insurance: Freedom of belief does not constitute a health card without a photo

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LSG Stuttgart: Photo is mandatory
Stuttgart (jur). A corresponding claim does not result from the fundamental right of freedom of belief and conscience, decided the Baden-Württemberg State Social Court (LSG) in a judgment published on Saturday, April 1, 2017 (file number: L 11 KR 3562/16).

The electronic health card has been issued by health insurance companies since 2013. From 2015, it will be the only valid proof of statutory health insurance. So far, only the same “master data” that was previously printed on the card, including name, date of birth, address and gender, are stored on the chip. In the future, this data should be compared in the doctor's surgeries via the Internet and updated if necessary. In order to prevent misuse of the health card, a photo of the insured person on the card is also mandatory.

In the case now decided, a 51-year-old Protestant woman from the Stuttgart area had refused to provide a photo for her new electronic health card. She invoked personal religious reasons, but without elaborating on them. The health insurance company must therefore provide her with a health card without a photo.

In the course of the process, she argued less religiously and also raised concerns about the chip's storage options. The electronic health card leads to disproportionate data collection. The insured person must have control over who he gives his health data to. They also fear that hackers could get patient data.

However, the 51-year-old was unsuccessful with her lawsuit before both the Stuttgart Social Court and the LSG. According to the Stuttgart judges in their judgment of January 24, 2017, the fundamental right to freedom of belief and conscience does not entitle the holder to an electronic health card without a photo. According to the statutory provisions, only insured persons up to the age of 15 and persons who are with the Taking the photo can not participate - such as bedridden people - exempt from the photo obligation.

Certain modifications could be permitted for religious reasons, such as an exception to the ban on headgear, according to the LSG. However, the blanket reference to freedom of belief and conscience is not enough. The applicant had not even explained her religious reasons in more detail.

The LSG also refused to go through the other reasons, such as concerns about data storage, with reference to a decision by the Federal Social Court (BSG). The judges in Kassel had decided on November 18, 2014 that the electronic health card did not violate the right to informational self-determination (file number: B 1 KR 35/13; JurAgentur report from the judgment day).

The photo was "suitable and necessary to counter abusive use". The planned comparison of the master data also helps to identify invalid cards and prevent misuse, for example in the case of exemption from copayment for children. So far, the BSG has also ruled that data security is inadequate. fle / mwo

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