Over 330,000 default on health insurance payments

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There are already 331,000 people in The Netherlands who are structurally unable to pay their health care insurance premiums. The number of people in default is rising, and between them there is more than €1 billion yet to be paid, RTL Nieuws reports.

More than 100,000 people had their health care benefits frozen last year. This is a new measure against default which was introduced in April 2013. This measure has secured at least €100 million. This is the most extreme measure that can be taken against default.

Before people have their benefits taken from them, there is the possibility to place people in the Care Institute. This counts for those who have not been able to pay their premiums for six months or longer. The Care Institute heightens arrears immediately with a fine of €40 per month. The Institute may also claim a loan or allowance and may also take health care benefits.

According to RTL, the number of people who cannot or will not pay health care premiums rose with five percent in the first eight months of 2014. In many cases, these people also have debts elsewhere.

Insurers have a system in place to help people pay their bills. Every month, insurers offer thousands of clients payment arrangements to minimize these people from landing in mounting debts. Despite this support, the number of defaulters with outstanding fees of six months or more is on the rise.