Achmea policyholders may have to pay for drugs

14th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Those with Achmea health coverage will have to pay for their own prescriptions beginning in January if no contract agreement is reached with pharmacies.

Haarlem – People covered by an Achmea health insurance brand may no longer be reimbursed for prescriptions in 2010, reports the Novum news agency Monday.

Current contracts between the pharmacies and Achmea are set to expire at the end of 2009.

The pharmacy group KNMP said Achmea insurance holders will then have to pay in cash for prescription drugs, according to a report.

The trade group placed an advertisement in Monday's de Telegraaf warning clients of the situation.

Achmea health insurance brands include Agis, Zilveren Kruis Achmea, Groene Land Achmea, Avéro and FBTO.

In early September, Achmea announced a new contract with pharmacies “aimed at controlling health care costs” on its website; however, pharmacies are unhappy with its terms.

The policies of insurers such as Achmea harm pharmacies because the prices are so low that many are likely to go bankrupt, KNMP told NOS Nieuws.

The problem is that for most medicines, only the cheapest version can be reimbursed, the pharmacy organisation continued.

Achmea has not yet responded to the KNMP advertisement, but acknowleged opposition when it announced the new contract.

"Some pharmacies would rather have preferential drug policies over the new contract" which emphasises generic drugs, said Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the director of healthcare purchasing, on the Achmea website.

The KNMP said it's concerned about the financial situation after seven pharmacies submitted a payment deferral request in the past week, according to several media reports.

KNMP told news agencies it expects more bankruptcies and financial troubles if the position of pharmacies does not improve quickly.

Jennifer Evans / Expatica

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