Health: Contaminated Blood Products

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord Morris of Manchester Lord Morris of Manchester Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Thornton on 28 January (Official Report, 28/1/10; col. 367 WA), when they will respond to the letter sent by the Macfarlane Trust; and in what terms.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Government Whip, Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The letter from the Macfarlane Trust suggested that comments I made during the second reading debate of the Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected Persons) Bill on 11 December 2009, were incorrect and that the Official Record should be corrected. I responded to the Macfarlane Trust on 5 February 2010, stating that my comments about insurance were based on advice that the Department of Health has received from the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI stated that the general principle of insurance is that for voluntary insurance products, insurers must be able to offer terms that reflect the risk that an individual brings to the risk pool depending on, for example, the person's occupation, medical history and lifestyle. Depending upon the level of risk that an individual brings to the risk pool, the possible outcomes for someone applying for insurance could be:

standard terms and conditions; or no cover offered due to an unacceptable level of risk; or a higher premium due to increased mortality or morbidity; and/or partial cover due to increased mortality or morbidity.

This is consistent with my statement that in all cases, a person's insurability and the level of premiums are determined by the assessment of their individual risk. It is therefore not appropriate to amend the Official Report.

Recognition of the higher cost of insurance premiums was one of the factors taken into account in making the extra payments to those infected with HIV.

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