Dutch health insurance companies booked combined profits of €1.4bn last year, double the 2011 figure, according to estimates from the central bank.
Health minister Edith Schippers told parliament on Wednesday there are three reasons for the increase: earnings from healthcare insurance premiums were higher, costs were lower than expected and insurers generated more income from investments.
While the increase in profits is to be welcomed, this should be passed back to customers in the form of lower premiums, the minister said. MPs are due to debate health insurance company profits later on Thursday.
Schippers has also agreed that from next year patients will be given bills detailing the cost of their treatment, following an outcry about inflated bills and fraudulent claims.
A hotline set up by the PVV resulted in 500 claims ranging from a telephone conversation resulting in a €218 bill to a three-month prescription which was charged as three separate monthly prescriptions.
Most doctors and hospitals send bills directly to the insurance company, so patients have no opportunity to check the cost of their treatment and ensure the bill is accurate.
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