Choose a different hospital and pay the bill yourself: minister
Monday 26 March 2012
Patients who want to be treated by a doctor or at a hospital which has no contract with their insurance company will have to pay at least part of the bill themselves, health minister Edith Schippers says in Monday's Trouw.
At the moment patients are covered by their insurance if they decide to be treated in a hospital without a contract with their insurer. But that is undermining the healthcare system, the minister told the paper.
Insurance companies should no longer be forced to pay if their clients opt for a different hospital and this will keep costs down, the minister said. She is due to send a briefing on the issue to MPs later on Monday.
Schippers denied this will undermine the right of patients to choose their own doctor. People who want this option can take out a more expensive health insurance policy which allows them to be treated where they like, she said.
However, insurance companies will have to make it clear in their policies which hospitals and other healthcare providers they have contracts with. This way people can chose a policy which covers them for their favourite hospital, Schippers told the paper.
Negotiations between health insurers and hospitals on new treatment contracts are due to be completed before April 1. Insurance giant Achmea said in February some hospitals have asked for 20% increase in their budgets, but the government said last year any increase should be limited to 2.5%.
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