Over the past decade, the costs of the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ) have risen by nearly 75 percent. Important factors are population ageing, less rigid access criteria to health facilities and person-related budgets. Last year, the costs of care for chronic, older and disabled persons amounted to 23 billion euro, i.e. approximately 1,400 euro per capita.
Costs of the AWBZ
Half spent on nursing and care
The costs of care provided by the AWBZ exceeded 23 billion euro in 2009. Half of the amount was spent on nursing and care and more than one quarter on care for disabled people. The remainder was spent on mental health care and other forms of care. In recent years, the use of (health) care facilities has increased in all categories. This was predominantly caused by population ageing and the growth in person-related budgets.
Costs AWBZ higher despite cutbacks
Various drastic measures have been taken in recent years to control the continually rising AWBZ costs. In 2007, household care was transferred from the AWBZ to the WMO (Social Support Act). The support programmes for persons with minor disabilities also expired last year.
Since 2008, the GGZ (mental health care) was no longer financed under the AWBZ. As a result, the costs of the AWBZ actually declined that year. An estimated 3 billion euro were saved, when the GGZ part was transferred to the ZVW (Health Care Insurance Act) in 2008.
Funding of the AWBZ
Two thirds of AWBZ financed by health care premiums
In 2009, the revenues (premiums, government and personal contributions) totalled more than 20 billion euro, an increase by nearly 40 percent relative to 1999.
Premiums constitute more than two thirds of total revenues, nearly 835 euro per capita. Government contributions approximated about one quarter of total revenues. Throughout the years, personal contributions have been stable at nearly 10 percent of total revenues.