Dutch MPs want the government to take action to stop health insurance companies offering identical policies for different prices.
A motion drawn up by the ruling Christian Democrats and calling for action to reduce the number of cloned policies was backed by a majority of MPs in this week’s debate on the health ministry budget.
Last month, the Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond said around 1,000 different healthcare policies are currently being offered by 50 different insurance companies and this is creating a policy jungle.
‘All these identical policies with different names make the supply side unnecessarily confusing for consumers,’ said organisation director Bart Combée. ‘Consumers can choose from 57 different basic insurance packages but a third of them can be scrapped because they are identical to others.’
Experts say the policy jungle is one reason just 7% of people switch health insurer during the end-of-year window and this is preventing a true market developing.
The government determines the make-up of the basic policy but health insurance companies are supposed to compete on price and on conditions – such as free choice of healthcare provider.