Insurance hike predicted as billing hits clot

4th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — It is likely the average health insurance premium will rise above EUR 100 a month in 2007, the head of the sector organisation for Dutch health insurance providers said on Tuesday evening.

4 January 2006

AMSTERDAM — It is likely the average health insurance premium will rise above EUR 100 a month in 2007, the head of the sector organisation for Dutch health insurance providers said on Tuesday evening.

This will come as unwelcome news for Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst who has consistently rejected suggestions that his new healthcare system, which came into force on 1 January this year, will force a major increase in health insurance costs.

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 Zorgverzekeraars Nederland (ZN) said 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.

Meanwhile, family doctors — who are no great fans of the new system — are complaining about administrative chaos.

The national association of family doctors (Landelijke Huisartsen Vereniging LHV)  said it has already received hundreds of complaints from its members about insurance companies being unable to handle electronic invoices.

The LHV claimed on Tuesday that more than 50 percent of the invoices submitted by doctors cannot be processed. Zorgverzekeraars Nederland said it was incredible that doctors had come to this conclusion within three days of the new health insurance system coming into effect.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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