Small majority Dutch: Smokers should pay higher health premiums

Small majority Dutch: Smokers should pay higher health premiums

According to a study by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), more than half of the Dutch population, namely 52 percent, feel that those with an unhealthy lifestyle should have to pay a higher premium for their health insurance. This opinion applies particularly to those who drink heavily and smokers.

Higher premiums for unhealthy lifestyles

Amongst non-smokers, 58 percent feel that smokers’ premiums should be higher. It’s not just non-smokers who feel this way though, 20 percent of smokers agree with this opinion. When it comes to those who drink heavily, 41 percent of respondents agreed they should pay more on premiums.

According to a quarter of the population, people who are overweight should have higher premiums. Slightly fewer, 20 percent, wanted the same for those not getting enough exercise.

Many, namely 43 percent of participants in the study, held that those with a healthy lifestyle should pay less on their premiums. Smokers and heavy drinkers, of course, were relatively often of the opinion that the premiums for “their groups of people” should remain the same. It is mainly men that want premiums lowered for those leading a healthy lifestyle and raised for those with an unhealthy one, the study shows.

What about people with genetic illnesses?

What about people who just lost out on the genetic lottery? What did the Dutch think when it comes to their premiums? Well, a large majority, 81 percent, were against raising their premiums. Only three percent said that this group should pay more.

Currently, in the Netherlands, everyone pays basically the same premium for the basic healthcare package (these premiums vary slightly from insurer to insurer). The point here is that premiums are not based on the kind of lifestyle you have.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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