No claim system looms for health insurance
9 March 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A majority of MPs support the introduction of a "no claim" system for healthcare insurance by 2006, but the Dutch patients association was critical of the proposal.
9 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — A majority of MPs support the introduction of a "no claim" system for healthcare insurance by 2006, but the Dutch patients association was critical of the proposal.
Should the plan go ahead, the government will determine a ceiling for healthcare costs and over the course of 12 months, if a person makes use of the healthcare system below that limit, they will be repaid the difference.
The no claim system is designed to replace the "own risk" payment the cost-cutting coalition Cabinet hopes to implement next year for people on the public ziekenfonds health insurance scheme. That figure being discussed is EUR 200-250.
Health Minister Hans Hoogervorst has sent the plan to the Council of State — which assesses government legislative proposals — for further advice. The council is expected to deliver its recommendations in April, after which the Cabinet will discuss the matter further.
The Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 parties in the coalition agreed in the government accord last year that people covered by the public health insurance system will in future be required to partially pay for their healthcare costs.
VVD Minister Hoogervorst said the move was designed to reduce healthcare costs and stop people from visiting a doctor too often, news agency ANP reported on Monday.
The no claim plan is being backed by all three government parties. They say it is a good method to reward people for visiting the doctor less frequently, instead of penalising people who regularly visit a doctor.
Health insurance association ZN reacted with surprise to the plan, with a spokesman describing it as entirely new and possibly a European first. But he expected health insurers will react positively to the proposal, RTL news reported.
The Dutch patients association, the Nederlandse Patienten en Consumenten Federatie, reacted negatively to the plan. Director Iris van Bennekom said people who are sick - in addition to being ill - be forced pay more than healthy people.
And D66 and CDA MPs have also said they wish to see the full details of the plan before giving it the official go ahead.
The CDA and main opposition party PvdA also believe that a visit to a family doctor could possibly be excluded from the no claims system, while the Socialist Party has whole-heartedly rejected the entire plan.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news