German court denies bald men state-funded wigs

BERLIN Fri May 11, 2007 5:28pm BST

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Bald men in Germany have no right to state-funded wigs, according to a new court ruling.

A court in the south-western state of Rhineland-Palatinate rejected an appeal by a man to have the costs of his hairpiece paid for by a statutory health insurer, saying the problem was not unusual enough among men to justify his claim.

The man had based his appeal on the grounds he had been bald since childhood, but the insurer told him it only provided "long-term hair replacement support" for women and minors.

"The hair's protective function against the sun and the cold can easily be replaced by a hat," the social court said in a statement. "The health insurance does not have to pay for that."

Germany's generous health insurance system has been known to fund such benefits as trips to spa resorts and breast implants.

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