Half want dental, physio in basic health insurance

Almost half of Dutch people want physiotherapy and dental back in the basic healthcare insurance plan, even though this means that health insurance will become more expensive for everyone in the Netherlands. 

A third of the population claims that they now expressly avoid this healthcare because of the higher costs. Only 18 percent think that the basic package should remain small, with limited coverage on items like dental and physiotherapy, that is affordable for everyone.

This comes out of research from ZorgWijzer.nl, who asked 1709 respondents. Dental and physiotherapy were the most popular additional insurances in the last year. Both are not in the standard basic package for everyone, but there are exceptions to the rule.

For most dental procedures, Dutch people under 18 years of age are still insured under the basic insurance. Dental care for adults above 18 years no longer counts. Insurance companies cover surgical procedures in the basic package, such as removing wisdom teeth in hospital. Removable dentures also count. In both cases, a policy excess is applied, which is a minimum of €360 in 2014.

In exceptional cases such as severe development impairment or oral aberrations, there is a possibility to get the cost of the procedures covered.

For most Dutch people, dental insurance will have to be added to their plan as a separate item. Most respondents want dental care to be put back on the basic package, even though that means everyone's healthcare insurance will become more expensive in order to cover the costs.

For physiotherapy, Dutch people under 18 years old have a right to insurance for the first nine treatments at a physiotherapist. In case the results are unsatisfactory, the healthcare insurer may cover more treatments (maximum nine extra). After 18, only people suffering from chronic disorders, and who are on the chronic list, have right to physiotherapy from the basic package.

In there cases, people receive therapy from their 21st, but pay the first 20 treatments from their own pockets. These 20 treatments count per disorder, not per calendar year. General disorders such as injuries will require an additional insurance.

At this point, 33 percent of the respondents to this research may be without the care they need due to the extra costs. However, coverage for dental and physiotherapy may only apply to a certain section of the population. Adding these to the basic package will raise costs for insurance overall, meaning that those who don't need the additional coverage still have to pay for it. The research shows that most Dutch people would rather everyone contribute, than that individuals pay extra only when they need it.