Ban health insurers permanently from paying profits to shareholders: MPs


Socialist, Labour and Christian Democrat MPs are calling for a permanent ban on dividend payments to shareholders by health insurance companies.

A temporary ban is currently in place but the MPs say health insurers should never be allowed to pay out profits to shareholders or others. Instead, they say, all profit made on health insurance should be used to improve healthcare or cut premiums.

‘We pay premiums for good healthcare, not to benefit investors,’ Socialist Party MP Renske Leijten is quoted as saying by news agency ANP. ‘Confidence in the healthcare system will be seriously undermined if health insurers can pay out profits to shareholders.’

In addition, allowing health insurers to pay dividends could lead to them putting the company interests ahead of that of patients, the MPs say.

The current ban is due to expire in 2018.

The four biggest insurance companies control 90% of the market. Achmea, which includes Zilveren Kruis, De Friesland, FBTO and Agis, is market leader with 32%. VGZ, a cooperative, has 25%.

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