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Low income households are bigger consumers of healthcare

Tuesday 08 January 2013

Households with a low level of education are bigger consumers of healthcare than those with university degrees, but well-educated families spend more on premiums, according to calculations by the macro-economic think-tank CPB.

The CPB report says people whose highest level of education is school or vocational training will spend an average of €2,200 a year on healthcare, but will receive care worth €3,300.

Those with university or college education spend an average of €3,900 on premiums, but only consume €2,200 worth of care.


This, says the CPB, is cause for concern because Dutch healthcare system is based on solidarity and everyone is entitled to the same standard of care regardless of income. However, with rising costs, the rich will be asked to foot an increasing proportion of the bill, the CPB says.

'Lowering the collective cost of healthcare, for example via a greater role for private care,' is one possible solution, the report's authors Albert van der Horst and Harry ter Rele say.

Other options would be to reduce the basic health insurance package or to increase the own-risk element.

Health minister Edith Schippers has not yet responded to the report.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Perhaps a better long term solution would be to determine why the lower educated "consume" more healthcare? Smoking? Poor diet? Working in more dangerous jobs? More likely to be involved in violent activities? What's the real reason for the difference?

And why do the better educated "consume" care, while the less well educated "receive" care?

By H. | 8 January 2013 8:50 AM

This was a well established fact in other countries.
That's why having a health-insurance income-dependent is simply non-sense. If it is an insurance, the premium should be proportional to the claims; therefore rich people will pay less than poor.
So please, just call this mandatory health-insurance with its real name: TAX.
And take health care 100% back under government supervision.

By joanna | 8 January 2013 9:17 AM

Well said Joanna.

By Darren | 8 January 2013 9:51 AM

per capita the Dutch system is the most expensive / least efficient in w Europe.
Actual cost is Eu6k per person while insurance is basic Eu1200.
75% is topped up from tax so the richest pay most anyway.
Largest users are the elderly and women use more than men
Insurance companies make huge profits and have no vested interest in economising.

The needed reform is to make the system more much efficient.

By nd | 8 January 2013 10:20 AM

Probably related to the type of employment. More physical jobs require less education, generally pay less, and take a bigger toll on health in the long term.

By Valentijn | 8 January 2013 11:27 AM

@joanna: health care has never been 100% under government control in the Netherlands at least since post-World War 2. There was this dual private-public financing system where income dictate where you went before they reformed it in the 1990s.

By A.L. | 8 January 2013 2:12 PM

Those with a lower level of education are presumably in lower paid jobs.
Those who are educated to university level presumably earn considerably more. They may, therefor, have opted for higher levels such as 'comfort polis' while the lower paid have basis paket plus tandarts.
Without all the relevant info this type of article simply leads to confusion.

By Donaugh | 8 January 2013 2:58 PM

One day, Joanna, you might well be very grateful for this mandatory 'tax'.

By woods | 8 January 2013 4:08 PM

Right Joanna. Those who can afford it the least should just suffer. Because obviously they brought it on themselves.

Think a bit more before you type please.

By CW | 8 January 2013 5:15 PM

So is it low income or low educated? They aren't always linked. Illnesses such as MS or cancer don't affect just the poorly educated - and an engineer in a wheelchair, or stockbroker who can no longer stand up for long periods, or a surgeon who develops Parkinsons... they don't tend to keep their incomes for very long and yet require more healthcare than those healthy, whining folk.

By osita | 8 January 2013 5:15 PM

Low income households are bigger consumers of healthcare. Another stupid statistic, when you have nothing to eat, nowhere to live this makes you ill.

By Terence Halet | 8 January 2013 5:35 PM

CW read before typing :)

Did I imply I do not want poor, undecated people not to access health care?
Having health care under government control will allow everybody to have a minimum health care not decided by greedy insurance companies.
Poor people are not going to the dentist because they cannot afford it. Does that sound right to you?
It does not to me.

By joanna | 9 January 2013 9:00 AM


did I write I do not want to pay anything for healthcare?
Just look up at the definition of "insurance" and tell me if what we have in NL does correspond to it.

It is a tax, so call it tax, have it paid according to the income and with it fund good public healthcare.
Then if I am rich and I want my private room with butler, I go private and pay.

By joanna | 9 January 2013 9:04 AM

Guys,think about those people...take IPHONE manufacturer in China as example, its so-called one of the best factories in mainland China. Those Chinese workers work for 60 hours per week and merely have any insurance,no vacation money (of course no vacation) and only earn 300euro a month. However,these jobs are still good jobs there.
You should feel happy and satisfied because you were born in western.

By Paul | 12 January 2013 4:20 PM

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