The end of Dutch supplementary healthcare insurance may be looming
According to the Dutch central bank (DNB), which monitors insurers, the end of affordable additional care in the Netherlands may be near, as Dutch health insurers do not earn enough, or even suffer losses from the supplemental health insurance policies that they offer.
Dutch health insurance
In the Dutch healthcare system, visits to the doctor fall under the basic package. However, appointments with the dentist or trips to the physiotherapist are not covered by the basic package, and therefore payment to the practitioner either comes out of your own pocket or via your supplemental healthcare insurance policy.
Of those now insured, 84 percent have a supplemental insurance policy. In 2006, this figure was higher, with 93 percent of insured persons having a supplemental policy.
The supplemental healthcare insurance policy is a commercial product, and its coverage is decided upon by the health insurers themselves. This is contrary to the basic package in which the Dutch government plays a role.
Health insurers offering supplemental healthcare insurances may also decide upon their premiums and who can take out such a policy. There is the worry that if supplementary health insurance policies disappear, certain areas of healthcare will no longer be affordable, thus affecting their accessibility.
Many people only take out additional insurance if they anticipate the need to make use of it. Last year, insurers offering supplementary healthcare insurance policies made a meagre 0,6 percent profit on the policies.
In order to prevent the end of supplementary insurance policies, DNB is encouraging insurers to find other ways of making a profit whilst meeting the needs of their clients. The suggestion of a multiple year insurance plan, with discounts for those following a health programme, was made.