Overcharging by hospitals and other healthcare institutions means the Dutch are paying some €300 a year too much for health insurance, health economics professor Wim Groot says in Tuesday’s Telegraaf.
The paper said on Monday that health insurers pay out between €3bn and €4bn a year too much because of wrongful billing.
Given some 13 million people pay for health insurance (the under-18s are free), this is the equivalent of up to €300 per person. A basic health insurance package costs around €1,100 a year.
‘We have been too naïve for years,’ Groot told the Telegraaf. ‘More attention is slowly being focused on fraud but it has been taboo for a long time. In the Netherlands, the integrity of healthcare professionals has never been called into question.’
In February, the Dutch health authority NZa warned health insurance companies they face fines if they fail to check that hospital bills are accurate or inflated.
The warning followed the case of a hospital in Terneuzen which charged an insurance company €1,066.73 for removing ear wax, describing the process as a ‘microscopic ear clean’ and ‘removing polyps’. A year earlier, the same treatment cost €110.
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