Hoogervorst admits health costs will rise

16th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — Minister for Health Hans Hoogervorst admitted on Monday he has no idea what premiums for the obligatory health insurance package, basisverzekering will cost in 2007.

16 January 2006

AMSTERDAM — Minister for Health Hans Hoogervorst admitted on Monday he has no idea what premiums for the obligatory health insurance package, basisverzekering will cost in 2007.

He conceded healthcare premiums will increase next year due to inflation. But, he said, insurance providers will have to offer competitive prices to keep clients from defecting to rivals.

Hoogervorst was replying to a question put by the opposition Labour Party (PvdA) about the new health insurance that came into operation on 1 January this year.

The PvdA posed the question after health insurance lobby group Zorgverzekeraars Nederland warned the monthly premium would rise above EUR 100 next year. This would be a 20 percent increase on average prices this year.

The average being charged by health insurers for coverage under the universal basisverzekering package is currently around EUR 85 a month.

Director Martin Bontje of ZN said earlier this year on BNR Nieuws Radio that premiums will have to increase.

"There is a price war going on between health insurers. Some insurers are using their (financial) reserves; others are selling under the cost price - and you can't keep that up. This means prices will have to increase at some stage," Bontje said.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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