Health insurers take watchdog to court for exposing failings

doctor euros healthcare costThe three biggest health insurance groups have taken healthcare watchdog NZa to court for naming them in research about poor service, the Telegraaf says on Friday.

Zilveren Kruis/Achmea, VGZ and CZ were among the worst performers in spot checks of insurance company expertise carried out by TNSNipo using mystery shoppers.

The big three’s call centre helpers answered up to one in four questions wrongly, the NZa said in its report in December. Broken down into different labels, Zilveren Kruis/ Achmea’s own brand, Ohra (CZ) and Unive (VGZ) got three in 10 questions wrong.


They made mistakes about the own-risk element in health insurance and changes in policy terms and conditions, and could often not answer what care was covered and what not. Their failings could have had considerable financial impact on policyholders, the Telegraaf points out.

The NZA gave the big three, who have 10 million policy holders between them, a formal notice about their performance. This means they have to make improvements or face fines.

On Monday, however, the three companies were in court, calling for the notices to be withdrawn. They also objected to the fact that the number of mistakes made per insurance company were made public, the Telegraaf says.


The survey was carried out in the wake of parliamentary questions about a cancer patient who was wrongly refused cover because of his health.

‘The results were plain to see,’ VVD parliamentarian Arno Rutte told the paper. ‘Then you should be making improvements, not going to court.’

The fourth big insurance company Menzis is not taking part in the legal action.

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