SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Three quarters of patients end up with extra bills on top of their health insurance premiums, according to research by patient lobby group Patientenfederatie.
In particular, people who have long-term illnesses end up paying additional costs, lobby group director Dianda Veldman told broadcaster RTL Nieuws. ‘They all end up paying more, for healthcare and other issues,’ she said.
‘And if you don’t have much to start with, it can be tough.’ Almost half the people who said they faced top-up fees were paying €500 to €5,000 extra a year for healthcare.
These included the fees for medicine (73%), dental care, which is not covered by basic health insurance (49%) and glasses (44%). The cost of parking and transport was another major expense.
In total, nearly 8,000 people took part in the survey. Many drugs, such as sleeping pills and antacids, are no longer included in the basic health insurance package, and the government has now introduced a €250 limit on the amount people have to pay towards medicines prescribed by their doctor.