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Last-minute changes concerning the deductible health insurance

In The Netherlands health care is arranged in a different way than in most countries. It has a solidaire system, where society pays for every citizen in need of care. As a citizen you pay a health premium and a deductible health insurance.
In this article will be discussed how the decision that the deductible health insurance will stay the same has been made. Also, the results of the recent poll will be put forward. Furthermore, the plans of Rutte III for health care will be presented because the forming parties finally had some good news for the Netherlands, they have reached a government agreement.
When the Dutch parties presented their election program a couple of months ago, there were a lot of different opinions among the parties about the deductible health insurance and the health premiums. Some parties wanted to lower the deductible health insurance, some wanted an income-dependent deductible health insurance, some wanted it to be non-existent and some wanted it to rise. The argument parties had to lower or make the deductible health insurance income-dependent, was that it can be a problem for people with low incomes. They said that it can lead to underuse of health care by people who do need to be taken care of. Parties that did not necessarily wanted to lower the deductible health insurance said when you lower it, that will mean health premiums will rise with huge amounts which also holds the consequences of the health care not being payable.
On September the sixth, word came out that the deductible health insurance would rise with fifteen euros in 2018. This was decided because a decrease in the deductible health insurance would cost too much money, money that the government does not have. The deductible health insurance would not be the only thing rising within the health care. The health premiums are also rising a lot the upcoming year. The ministry of Health, wellbeing and sports had estimated an extra six euros on top of the current health premium. The exact health premium for the basic care will be announced before the 12th of November.
But, informer Zalm then came out with last-minute news that forming parties, VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie, had decided that the deductible health insurance will stay the same until 2021. Only 16% of the people who participated in the poll, agreed with this decision. The reversing of the deductible health insurance rising with fifteen euros will be paid by the health premium going up with an extra ten euros per year. This is due to the fact that there will be a shortage of 150 to 170 million euros that health insurers will have when the deductible health insurance stays the same. This gap must be compensated by the mandatory health premium. Jesse Klaver (Chairman of GroenLinks) proposed to solve this gap by the government doing an one-time investment because health premiums would already be too expensive. 36% of the people participating in our recent poll agreed with him. This was to be expected because in general, people think the deductible health insurance and the health premium are already to high. But, most people voted for the deductible health insurance going up and the health premium staying the same. This can be due to the fact that mostly students voted. Students tend to be more healthy than older people, so students do not have to use the health care as much. Most of the students will probably not use their whole deductible health insurance, which explains why they do not care if it goes up. But it does save them money if the health premium stays the same.
Rutte III
The new cabinet, Rutte III, has a few long-term goals for health care. The first two have already been mentioned. First of all, the deductible health insurance will be unchanged until 2021. Secondly, the unchanged deductible health insurance will lead to a rise from the health care premiums.
Another interesting goal is that the cabinet wants to spend more money on medicine. This is because medicine are quite expensive and patients had to pay a high contribution for the medicine. The contribution could rise to more than 1.000 euros a year for some patients. The new cabinet wants to prevent high contributions that patients make. An additional goal is transparency by insurers. The insurers have to be more transparent in their policies. At this moment the same policies are offered at different price ranges. Rutte III wants to end this. Furthermore, the insurers as well as the healthcare providers have to be open about the prices for treatments and other forms of healthcare. The cabinet wants that by purchase of care the price and the quality to be the most important aspects. In addition to the above, the insurers and the hospital will negotiate about the prices of medicine.
Furthermore, the cabinet will be investing in the care for elderly. Nursing homes will receive a structural 2,1 billion euros. With this money the new norms for good care can be acknowledged and the structural shortage of staff can be reduced. Also, 30 million euros a year is being released for municipalities and informal care. In addition, more money will be released for prevention and e-health. Around 170 million euros is available for prevention. This has been decided in a national forestalling arrangement. The preferences are preventing smoking and obesity. For the new innovations in health care 40 million euros will be released for e-health. An example would be an app to make an arrangement with the doctor.
Finally, Rutte III will release an extra 54 million euros for the care of the youth, JW, and the WMO. The WMO will receive an extra 145 million euros that will be used to lower the administrative burden. The aftermath will be that this will lead to a better quality of healthcare.
The motto of the new cabinet is ‘Confidence in the future’. We will see.
Written by: Romy van Rooijen & Marit Segaar
Published: 16 October 2017