Doctors, hospitals don’t warn patients their treatment may cost money

Doctors and hospitals do not warn patients they may have to pay for part of their treatment at some hospitals because they have a budget health insurance policy, according to RTL news.

Nor do doctors check if treatment at the hospital they send patients to is covered by the patient’s health insurance. This could leave patients facing bills of thousands of euros, the broadcaster said.

People with budget health insurance policies have a limited choice of hospitals where treatment is fully covered.


‘We send patients to hospital on the basis of their medical needs. Costs do not play a part,’ the national family doctors’ association said. ‘What is paid for and what is not is between the patient and the insurance companies. Doctors do not get involved.’

Patients’ federation NPCF told the broadcaster it is shocked that doctors and hospitals do not warn patients they may not be fully covered by their insurance. In addition, health insurers should better inform their clients about the potential impact of a budget policy.

RTL said people opting to be treated at a hospital not covered by their insurance have to foot between 20% and 50% of the bill themselves.

Another city

Earlier this week, the AD revealed that people who have a Univé Zekur policy and who live in Amersfoort, Dordrecht and Leiden cannot be treated in their own town, unless they are prepared to foot 20% of the bill themselves. Their policy only covers treatment in 16 of the country’s hospitals.

Other policies only include treatment in hospitals considered to be poor performers, the research published by the AD showed.

For example, Rotterdammers with the cheapest Achmea policy will have to use Havenziekenhuis hospital rather than the port city’s other, better performing hospitals.

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