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Health care in the Netherlands?
Now I am working on a story for my upcoming project. I have a plot indirectly dealing with several themes, one of which is health care in the Netherlands. Questions addressed: Is every Dutch eligible for health care? Does it cover all the fees at clinics (consultation), laboratories (tests) and pharmacies (meds), or only a certain part of them? Or, do you have to pay on your own? Are fees high there? Are there many private hospitals and do they have better reputation than public?
Also, can a very ill person with a chronic condition attain living allowance? Does it involve a lot of paperwork and long time? Is it commonly practiced?
I'd much appreciate your help! I just need general opinion, especially from Dutch or those residing in Holland. Facts and extra info won't hurt either :)
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
Healthcare in the Netherlands is financed by a dual system that came into effect in January 2006. Long-term treatments, especially those that involve semi-permanent hospitalization, and also disability costs such as wheelchairs, are covered by a state-controlled mandatory insurance.
The Netherlands has a dual-level system. All primary and curative care (i.e. the family doctor service and hospitals and clinics) is financed from private obligatory insurance. Long term care for the elderly, the dying, the long term mentally ill etc. is covered by social insurance funded from earmarked taxation.
Private insurance companies must offer a core universal insurance package for the universal primary curative care, which includes the cost of all prescription medicines. They must do this at a fixed price for all. The same premium is paid whether young or old, healthy or sick. It is illegal in The Netherlands for insurers to refuse an application for health insurance or to impose special conditions (e.g., exclusions, deductibles, co-payments, or refuse to fund doctor-ordered treatments). The system is 50% financed from payroll taxes paid by employers to a fund controlled by the Health regulator. The government contributes an additional 5% to the regulator's fund. The remaining 45% is collected as premiums paid by the insured directly to the insurance company. Some employers negotiate bulk deals with health insurers and some even pay the employees' premiums as an employment benefit. All insurance companies receive additional funding from the regulator's fund.
The regulator has sight of the claims made by policyholders and therefore can redistribute the funds it holds on the basis of relative claims made by policy holders. Thus insurers with high payouts receive more from the regulator than those with low payouts. Thus insurance companies have no incentive to deter high cost individuals from taking insurance and are compensated if they have to pay out more than a threshold. This threshold is set above the expected costs. Insurance companies compete with each other on price for the 45% direct premium part of the funding and should try to negotiate deals with hospitals to keep costs low and quality high. The competition regulator is charged with checking for abuse of dominant market positions and the creation of cartels that act against the consumer interests. An insurance regulator ensures that all basic policies have identical coverage rules so that no person is medically disadvantaged by his or her choice of insurer.
Hospitals in the Netherlands are mostly privately run and not for profit, as are the insurance companies. Most insurance packages allow patients to choose where they want to be treated. To help patients to choose, the government gathers and discloses information about provider performance. Patients dissatisfied with their insurer can choose another one at least once a year (before the end of the year.)
Insurance companies can offer additional services at extra cost over and above the universal system laid down by the regulator, e.g. for dental care. The standard monthly premium for health care paid by individual adults is about €120 per month (although it depends if you are insured for everything or take some options out - for example, if you never have any use for physical therapy you can opt not to take it in your package, thus lowering your monthly fee). Persons on low incomes can get assistance from the government if they cannot afford these payments. Children under 18 are insured by the system at no additional cost to them or their families because the insurance company receives the cost of this from the regulator's fund.
A big part of the health care in the Netherlands is also the "own risk". This is a certain amount of money that has to be paid before the insurance will cover it. This amount varies a lot depending on the person and situation (you can choose to make this amount higher so your monthly fee will be lower) but it is currently around €350. All the medical treatment you need from dentist, to medicines and so forth is deducted from this money. Once you reach the €350 your insurance will start paying.
Personally, I am not a fan of this. Since I am still young and barely use health care beside the occasional medicine, I never reach the €350 and so the monthly fee I pay every month is not spend on me - but that balances out the system as well since there are people who use/need health care a lot and that costs money a lot.
It is a little messy and all over the place, but I hope you get it ^^
- pffffffffLv 58 years ago
Every one in the Netherlands needs to have a basic health insurance. The government decides whats in it but you can choose the company were you want to be insured.
A consult with a family doctor is free, and medications on prescription are most of the time free but the first € 350 (2013) you have to pay yourself. After that the insurance will pay for it. But not for all the medications, like birth control is only covered until you are 21.
As I said, its a basic health insurance. If you need for example physiotherapy or dental work you have to pay it yourself or get a better insurance. And that's were the difference between the health insurance companies start. Every health insurance company can decide what they offer in their supplementary insurance and also what prices they asked for it.
But for some chronicle patients the rules are different, like physiotherapy or pharmacy.
And some of the chronicle patients are getting a compensation for their high medical coast, but its all under strict rules so not all the chronically patients are getting a compensating.
The fees are high. The better the insurance the more you pay.
The Dutch health care is complicated and it chances every year. The government decides what the basic insurance will cover but the insurance companies are deciding the coast of it and also what it will coast to get a better insurance and they can decide themselves what their insurance will cover.
There are some insurance companies that are getting contracts with hospitals for some problems. If you have one of those problems you need to go to one of the hospitals the insurance companies selected.
The next site can give you a lot of informationSource(s): Personal experience.