Netherlands cracks down on health insurance dodgers

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People who failed to take out a basic health insurance package will first receive a warning and then a fine.

The Hague – Dutch health minister Ab Klink has announced plans to crack down on people who fail to take out compulsory health insurance.

People aged 18 and above in the Netherlands are legally obliged to take out a basic health insurance package with a private insurer of their choice. Children are insured free of charge on their parents' policy, and a range of additional packages are available for those who opt to pay an extra premium.

According to the minister's proposal, those who fail to take out the compulsory insurance will first receive a warning and then a fine.

If they fail to comply, a policy will be taken out in their name. The premium will then be deducted directly from their earnings or state benefits.

In 2006, when the present system replaced a state health insurance scheme, 240,000 people failed to take out health insurance. By 2008, the figure was down to 170,000.

However Klink and a majority of MPs believe the number of insurance dodgers is not falling rapidly enough.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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