Dutch healthcare costs set to rise as supplemental care goes loss-making

Health insurance
The rising cost of health care and insurance, as described by the image's creator.. photo: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Health insurers no longer make enough money, or even suffer losses, from supplemental health insurance policies, according to Dutch central bank DNB. Insurers may stop offering these supplemental policies in the future, which will result in higher healthcare costs for Dutch consumers, NOS reports.

A supplemental health insurance policy is a commercial product, unlike basic health insurance. The supplemental policies cover treatments and services not offered in the basic insurance policies, like some dentist care and physiotherapists. If the supplemental policies disappear, Dutch will no longer be able to insure themselves for such treatments at reasonable rates, resulting in the accessibility of certain types of healthcare being jeopardized, the DNB warns. 

Currently 84 percent of Dutch health insurance policy holders also have a supplemental policy. In 2006 it was over 93 percent. According to DNB, many people only take out supplemental policies if they anticipate that they'll need a certain type of treatment in the near future. 

DNB urges insurers to find new ways to meet their client's wishes, while still making money from supplementary packages. The central bank, which supervises the insurers, gave several examples on how this can be done, like giving customers discounts if they follow a health program, or offering insurance for several years. 

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