Over 300 000 people defaulting on their health insurance payments

18/12/2009 15:00
  • Rising number of defaulters on health insurance
  • Greatest increase among men and people with a foreign background
  • 86 thousand people have been defaulting for almost 4 years

According to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands there were 304 thousand people who defaulted on the Dutch health insurance payments on 1 September 2009. This is a 60 percent increase on the first time the number of defaulters was calculated, at the end of 2006. Then the number was 190 thousand. The increase in the number of defaulters in this period occurred mainly among men and people with a foreign background. Over 86 thousand people have defaulted since the new law came into force nearly 4 years ago.

On 1 September 2009 some 2.3 percent of the adult population of the Netherlands defaulted. They are insured but have not paid their health insurance premiums for at least six months. Three times as many people with a foreign background than people with a native Dutch background default. The share of defaulters among the various ethnic groups varies greatly: from 1.6 percent among the native Dutch to 16.1 percent among Antilleans and Arubans.

There is an increase of more than 110 000 defaulters compared to 2006. In 2007 there were 240 thousand and in 2008 some 257 thousand defaulters. In the first 8 months of 2009 another 47 thousand defaulters joined. In the period 2006-2009 there was a relatively high increase among men and people with a foreign background. There was also a slight decrease among the 18 and 19 year olds.

There is a core of about 86 thousand people who have been registered as defaulters from the very day the new health insurance act (Zorgverzekeringswet) came into force on 1 January 2006. This means that 45 percent of the people who were defaulters at the end of 2006 remain so on 1 September 2009. Compared to the total group of defaulters the core of defaulters includes slightly more people with a native Dutch than with a foreign background.