Patients face €150 own-risk health charge

The introduction of an annual €150 own-risk charge on healthcare insurance to replace the current €255 no-claims bonus is to be discussed by the cabinet today.

Health minister Ab Klink says the measure would allow health insurance premiums to be cut by an average €90 a year, the Volkskrant reports this morning.
The no-claims bonus was introduced by the previous government to cut ‘unnecessary use of the healthcare system’ to the tune of €170m a year. The new cabinet has already agreed to scrap the system, arguing that people with poor health never received rebates.
The chronically sick and handicapped will be exempt from the own-risk charge under Klink’s new proposals. Doctors and midwife services would also be fully paid by insurance.
The cabinet is expected to back the plan, even though the Labour party (PvdA) is said to regard it as unimaginative.
The Dutch health insurance system underwent a major overhaul at the beginning of 2006, when the two-tier system was scrapped. Since then everyone requires private health insurance. The government still controls the content of the basic healthcare package. Insurers are supposed to compete on price and by offering extra services through top-up policies.

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