Minister to delay end of no-claim healthcare

26th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — It would be irresponsible to scrap the no-claim bonus in the national healthcare system before 1 January 2007 because there is not enough time to introduce a new scheme, Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst said on Tuesday.

26 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — It would be irresponsible to scrap the no-claim bonus in the national healthcare system before 1 January 2007 because there is not enough time to introduce a new scheme, Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst said on Tuesday.

Hoogervorst warned MPs against scrapping an existing system without a readymade replacement, stressing that this could lead to accountancy problems in a scheme where EUR 2 billion is involved.

The Liberal VVD minister also said it was not feasible to introduce on 1 January a system of 'personal payments', such as a compulsory own risk with income-dependent ceilings.

He said the earliest such a scheme can be introduced would be 1 January 2008, but a new Cabinet will need to perform the work after the November elections.

Hoogervorst's statement meant he backed the stance of the Christian Democrat CDA that announced last week it wanted to abolish the no-claim bonus in 2008.

Green-left GroenLinks, Labour PvdA, the ChristenUnie and the Socialist SP were in favour of making the change in 2007.
 
The no-claims bonus involves the repayment of a maximum EUR 255 annually from insurance firms to members of the public who have no or little healthcare costs. The chronically with a high medical costs are not paid anything.

Hoogervorst believes the no-claim system is a modest form of 'personal payments', which is necessary for the public support of the rising costs of the healthcare system from the chronically ill and elderly.

The minister argues that a young worker already pays EUR 4,300 per year on AWBZ and health insurance premiums. Abolishing the no-claim system will mean that this group will pay even more to help fund the healthcare system.

To ensure that low-income earners and sick people can obtain affordable and accessible healthcare in the future, Hoogervorst said there must be public support.

He also said the no-claim system encouraged healthy people to make savings on their healthcare, but that this was the group where the government could still profit from.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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