Health care allowance spending up 25 percent last year
The Dutch government spent 4,7 billion euros on health care allowances (zorgtoeslag) in 2011, an increase of nearly 25 percent compared to 2010, according to new figures from Statistics Netherlands. Approximately six in ten households received an allowance last year to help them afford health insurance.
Since the introduction of the health care allowance in 2006, spending on it has increased every year, and spending on it rose by nearly 90 percent between 2006 and 2011.
Increased spending on the care allowance is mostly due to an increase in the standard premium for health insurance, which rose by 35 percent between 2006 and 2011, from about 1.000 to 1.375 euros per year. The annual premium increased by over 100 euros from 2010 to 2011 alone.
This increase was then reflected in government spending on the health care allowance. However, a number of measures have recently been introduced to bring the increase in spending on the health care allowance to a halt.
In 2011, 4,6 million households received a health care allowance. The share of households receiving such an allowance rose from 56 percent in 2006 to over 60 percent in 2011. The average amount paid to households also increased, from 550 euros in 2006 to about 1.000 euros in 2011.
Among households in the lower three deciles of gross annual income (25.300 euros or less), 9 out of 10 received a health care allowance, whereas among households in the upper three deciles of gross annual income (75.200 euros or more), 3 out of 10 received one.
Note that when higher income households receive a health care allowance, it's usually for a child over 18 still living at home who is eligible for a care allowance because of their own low income.