History: towards unity (1900-1920)

Originating from mutual assistance societies, CM has evolved over time into a dynamic organization that is active in many areas. A look back.

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First federations

Mutual insurance companies started working together more and more. This provided many advantages . Members moving were no longer a problem and the burden on the long-term ill and disabled was better spread. Together, the greenhouses were also able to set up new services such as a medical-pharmaceutical service, which ensured the reimbursement of doctor and pharmacist costs. Agreements have even been made with doctors to this end.

Wallonia was at the forefront of this development. The first Catholic mutualist federations emerged in Charleroi and Dinant . Flanders only had its turn after 1900, with connections in Ghent and Boom . Some federations operated within a city, others grouped companies from a province, such as in Luxembourg and Limburg.

From 1902 onwards, the government assigned a representative to the federations and covered the operating costs of their secretariats. In this way, the affiliates could better support local companies. Slowly it became time for an organization that would encompass all Belgian Catholic health insurance companies.

LCM Foundation

As early as 1900, an attempt was made to establish a national federation of Christian health insurance companies. Yet this was only achieved in 1906. Fifty-seven regional associations of health and pension funds together formed the National Association of Christian Mutualities . Where no regional association was yet active, local health insurance companies were part of the organization. In total, the Landsbond grouped 90,896 members in the health insurance funds and 277,105 in the pension funds.

The first chairman of the Landsbond was Edouard de Pierpont , chairman of the Dinant association. In 1910, the Ghent pastor Arthur Eeckhout became general secretary. From the start, the Landsbond took some important initiatives. The general secretariat was installed and the union organized its first congress in August 1906. He also published two magazines: 'The Guide to Mutual Assistance' and 'Le Bulletin de la Mutualité'.

Low key

Yet the Landsbond found it difficult to leave its mark on mutualistic life. For example, there was no change service yet. The plea for compulsory health insurance was undoubtedly the most important pre-war achievement of the Landsbond. In 1914, the House approved a bill, but the war prevented further processing.

The First World War did the Christian health insurance companies no good. Many local health insurance companies had to stop their operations. The National Union also operated at a low level. Moreover, membership numbers fell sharply: from 188,690 in 1913 to 113,367 in 1919. The socialist mutual societies, on the other hand, were very successful: in 1919 they had 283,484 members.