Helping defaulters leave the health insurance default scheme more quickly

Following a proposal by Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Edith Schippers, the cabinet has decided to reduce the administrative premium charged to people who default on their healthcare insurance premiums. As of 1 July 2016, the premium will be 128 euros instead of 159 euros. This will make it possible for defaulters to leave the default scheme more quickly, as they will have more money left over to clear their debt.

Default Measures (Improvement) Act

On Tuesday 1 December 2015 a bill on improving the measures that apply to defaulters was passed by the Senate. The government sees this legislation as a means to reduce the number of people who default on their healthcare insurance premiums. As well as reducing the mandatory administrative premium defaulters must pay, the new act will make it possible for defaulters who agree on a payment scheme with their insurer to leave the default scheme without the involvement of debt counsellors. The options provided under the new act for designating specific groups that can leave the default scheme are currently being worked out. This includes examining the conditions under which defaulters who also claim social assistance benefit can go back to paying premiums to their insurer in the usual way.

Administrative premium

Everyone who lives and works in the Netherlands is required to take out healthcare insurance. Those who have not paid their premiums for six months, despite being given the option of a payment scheme, will be reported by their insurer to the Healthcare Institute of the Netherlands. The Healthcare Institute is authorised to withhold the administrative premium from wages or benefit via employers or benefit agencies. The administrative premium is higher than the average healthcare insurance premium, so that people who do pay on time do not foot the bill for running the default scheme. The higher premium also deters people from letting their debt mount up. The administrative premium must not be so high that defaulters get further into debt, but not so low that there is no incentive for defaulters to clear their debt and return to normal payments as soon as possible.