Well-paid freelancers face health cost hike
3 August 2005AMSTERDAM — Freelance workers face an explosive increase in their premiums under the new health insurance scheme coming into force next year, the organisation for small and medium-sized businesses has warned.
3 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — Freelance workers face an explosive increase in their premiums under the new health insurance scheme coming into force next year, the organisation for small and medium-sized businesses has warned.
Sector organisation MKB-Nederland has based its predictions on calculations carried out by newspaper 'Het Financieele Dagblad'.
A new one-size-fits-all insurance package will replace the two-tier, public-private health insurance on 1 January 2006.
Everyone will be in the basic package and can opt for extra coverage by taking out supplementary insurance.
The newspaper published calculations on Wednesday morning that the MKB says shows that high earning freelancers could face a doubling of their premiums to a total of EUR 2,900 a year.
Tens of thousands of freelancers — regarded by the tax office as self-employed entrepreneurs without personnel — could be hit by the increases, the MKB said.
Under the new system, freelancers, known as zzp'ers in Dutch, may have to pay an income-dependant premium of EUR 1,875 on top of the EUR 1,100 fixed premium.
Karin Kuiper of the MKB cautioned that the calculations are provisional and the government is to announce the maximum levels for the health insurance premiums in September.
But if the newspaper's calculations turn out to be correct, the cabinet will have to consider introducing a compensation scheme for zzp'ers, Kuiper said.
"In principle it is not so bad that people on a high income have to pay a higher premium. But increases have to remain at a realistic level," she said.
Kuiper also expressed concerns that entrepreneurs on a lower than average income will also suffer financially under the new health insurance scheme. Her organisation is afraid the government will exclude this group from the compensation scheme for people on low incomes.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news