Dutch health insurer covers margarine
5 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — As part of the battle of the bulge in 2005, a Dutch health insurer has announced it will reimburse its policy holders who buy margarine.
5 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — As part of the battle of the bulge in 2005, a Dutch health insurer has announced it will reimburse its policy holders who buy margarine.
VGZ has two million clients and is one of the biggest health insurance providers in the Netherlands.
From 1 January, the insurer has been offering cover for policy holders who buy Becel pro-activ. The margarine is designed to help lower cholesterol levels.
The idea is that lower cholesterol levels will lead to lower medical costs due to a lessening of the chance of heart disease, VGZ said on Tuesday. Policy-holders who use Becel pro-activ can seek a maximum reimbursement of EUR 40 a year.
This is the first time in the Netherlands that a health insurer has refunded the cost of a food product.
VGZ said that 120,000 of its clients use medicines to reduce their cholesterol levels. The total cost for these medicines comes to EUR 35 million. Another 6,100 of its policy-holders under an angioplasty or heart operation annually, costing EUR 57 million.
People, aged 40 and above, who reduce their cholesterol intake by 120 to 15 percent, VGZ said, can reduce the chance of heat disease by up to 50 percent. This drops to between 20 and 30 percent for people aged 60 and above.
[© Novum Nieuws 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, Dutch health care