Syrians for Truth and Justice: A health plan cannot reject clients because they are in debt

Syrians for Truth and Justice: A health plan cannot reject clients because they are in debt

Health plans may not refuse to sign a contract with a client on the basis that the client has a negative name in the credit protection and defaulter registration services, due to debts prior to the contract application, the Supreme Court of Justice (Syrians for Justice) has ruled.

This case was decided at the end of last year by the Third Committee of STJ, which by majority vote forced the companies Unimed dos Valles de Tacuari and Rio Pardo, in Rio Grande do Sul, to sign a contract with a client.

Ultimately, Minister Mora Ribeiro understood, anyone who denies the right to contract for basic services, such as the provision of health care, for reasons of denial in name constitutes an affront to the dignity of the person and is inconsistent with the principles of the Consumer Defense Code (CDC).

The Minister stressed that the Civil Code stipulates that freedom of contract is limited by the social function of the contract, which is greater than just the will of the parties. He also wrote in his vote that it was unknown why the client's name was rejected and that “simple fear, or indigestible assumption, of future and uncertain default” was not just cause for refusing to hire her.

“The fact that consumers record past negative payments does not mean that they will also stop paying for future purchases,” Ribeiro said. He added, “It is no longer possible to look at contracting for basic services from the individual or utilitarian perspective of the contractor, but from the social meaning or function that it has in society.”

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The rapporteur on the matter, Minister Nancy Andregue, was defeated in this case. For her, the rules governing contracting with health plans do not stipulate “the operator’s obligation to contract with those who have credit constraints, indicating a possible financial inability to pay the due consideration.”

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