A hard-core group of some 300,000 people fail to pay their health insurance premiums ever year, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.
The figure has been stable over the years, the CBS says. The debt problem is spread over the entire country and in total, some 2% of the population run up debts of at least six months on their payments.
A spokesman for the family budget institute Nibud told news agency ANP the economic crisis is playing a role.
‘Some 45% of people find it hard to make ends meet,’ the spokesman said. ‘Once there is not enough in their bank accounts to pay the bills and direct debits fail, you end up in a vicious circle.’
People on a low income are entitled to up to around €70 a month in state help to pay their health insurance premiums.