The bald men among you who have been thinking about moving to the German province of Rhineland-Palatinate in order to take advantage of liberal health-care coverage to get free hairpieces should think again.
A court there ruled last week that the health-insurance system did not have to pay for hairpieces, saying that baldness was not unusual enough among men to justify the claim that corrective measures should be covered by health insurance. Apparently, the man had argued that his case was different because he had been bald since childhood, and that it was a health-care issue because he needed hair to protect his head from the elements. I infer the latter argument from the court's reasoning that "[t]he hair's protective function against the sun and the cold can easily be replaced by a hat. . . . [But] the health insurance does not have to pay for [hats]."
The insurer had said it would cover "long-term hair replacement support," and the story did not explain why the man had rejected that and demanded a hairpiece instead. It did describe Germany's health-insurance system as "generous" and noted that it "has been known to fund such benefits as trips to spa resorts and breast implants." All of which suggests that, while you gentlemen certainly might want to at least plan a vacation to a Rhineland spa resort, don't go there expecting any free hats.
Link: Reuters via Yahoo! News