Majority think people with unhealthy lifestyle should pay more for health insurance

27/09/2011 15:00

Over half the Dutch population think that smokers and heavy drinkers should have to pay more for their medical insurance. Older people, people with poor health and people with genetically higher risks of disease need not pay more, in their opinion.

Less solidarity with smokers and drinkers

The Dutch health care insurance system is based on solidarity: every adult pays the same rate for a basic package, regardless of age, health or risk of disease. However, nearly 55 percent of adults in the country think that the premium for health insurance should be much higher for smokers and heavy drinkers. Nearly one quarter support a higher premium for people who do not get enough exercise.

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium and lifestyle, 2010

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium and lifestyle, 2010

Non-smokers: smokers should pay more

Non-smokers in particular think that smokers should pay higher health insurance premiums: 65 percent of non-smokers expressed this opinion, compared with 38 percent of people who smoke only occasionally and 18 percent of those who smoke daily. Over 70 percent of the latter group think that premiums for smokers should remain unchanged.

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium for smokers, by own smoking behaviour, 2010

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium for smokers, by own smoking behaviour, 2010

No higher premium for people with higher risk of disease

Although older people use health care provisions relatively more often, nearly 60 percent of the adult population think the insurance premiums for older people should not be higher. Just over 30 percent even said premiums should be lower for this group, For people with poor health, 81 percent of the population think the premiums should not be higher. The percentage is similar for people with genetically higher risks of disease.

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium for older people and ill people, 2010

Opinions among population aged 18 years and older about level of health insurance premium for older people and ill people, 2010

Rianne Kloosterman