Health insurance companies have to pay deaf smoke detectors

Health insurance companies have to pay deaf smoke detectors

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BSG obliges health insurance companies to pay for smoke detectors for the deaf

The deaf are entitled to two smoke detectors paid for by the health insurance company. This was decided by the Federal Social Court (BSG) in its judgment published on Wednesday (file number: B 3 KR 8/13 R). The special smoke detectors enable "independent living independent of outside help", according to the Kassel judge.

Deaf people are entitled to the supply of two smoke detectors with light signals In a specific case, a deaf person from Hamburg had sued because the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) had refused to cover the costs of two special smoke detectors with light signals. The State Social Court (LSG) also rejected the claim, so the case was ultimately heard before the BSG. While the LSG decided that the health insurance company was only responsible for medical rehabilitation, but the smoke detectors were used for "general provision for risk and danger situations" and were therefore "attributable to individual responsibility", the BSG came to a different opinion. According to the judges in Kassel, the plaintiff is entitled to two smoke detectors for the deaf.

"These devices serve a basic need for security, are now mandatory under building regulations in thirteen of sixteen federal states and, in the version adapted to their needs, enable deaf insured persons to live independently and independently of outside help," according to the BSG's reasoning. "This affects a general basic need of daily life." (Ag)

Image: Stephan Poost /

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