More people defaulting on health insurance payments

  • 16 percent more defaulters on health insurance
  • Largest increase for male defaulters
  • 108 thousand first-time defaulters in 2008
  • 95 thousand people have not paid for 3 years

Figures released today by Statistics Netherlands show that at the end of 2008, 280 thousand people in the Netherlands were defaulting on the payment of their health insurance premiums. This is 16 percent more than at the end of 2007. At the end of 2006 the number of defaulters was 190 thousand persons. The increase in the number of defaulters in 2008 was mainly among men. In 2008, 108 thousand people defaulted for the first time. More than 95 thousand have not paid for their health insurance for three years.

At the end of 2008, 280 thousand people in the Netherlands aged 18 or older did have health insurance but had not paid their premiums for at least six months. This is 2.2 percent of the adult population. Compared with the end of 2007, there was a relatively strong increase in the number of male defaulters. and a slight fall in the number of 18 and 19 year-olds.

About 60 percent of defaulters are people with a native Dutch background. This group of defaulters grew at about the same rate as the group with a foreign background. In relative terms, people with a foreign background are three times as likely to default as those with a native background. The percentages of defaulters in the various ethnic groups also vary strongly: from 1.6 percent for native Dutch to 14.6 among Antilleans and Arubans.

More than 108 thousand people defaulted for the first time in 2008. Most of these, 63 percent, were men. Sixty percent of first-time defaulters were native Dutch.

There is a core group of 95 thousand people who have not paid their premiums since the introduction of the new health care insurance scheme on 1 January 2006. They accounted for 34 percent of defaulters in 2008. In other words, half of the people who were defaulting at the end of 2006, were still doing so at the end of 2008.
Compared with the total group of defaulters, the group of persistent non-payers in 2006-2008 included relatively more people aged between 25 and 60 years, more partners in unmarried couples with children, and more single parents.