The average costs per capita covered by the basic health care insurance policy were 2,100 euro in 2010. The average costs were higher for women than for men. More than half concerned costs for hospital care. If differences in the composition of the population are taken into account, the costs prove to be higher for low-income households and persons with a non-western background.
Health care costs higher for women
The health care costs covered by the basic health insurance policy averaged 1,980 euro for men and 2,220 euro for women. The higher average costs for women are largely due to costs made in women’s fertile period for hospital care, obstetric and maternity care and medication. Outside the fertile period, the costs of health care are higher for men, mainly because older men are more frequently admitted in hospital than women.
Average health care costs covered by the basic health insurance policy by gender, 2010
More than half spent on hospital care
With 54 percent, hospital care by far accounts for the largest part of health care costs covered by the basic health insurance policy. Medication is in second place with 15 percent and second-line mental health care takes up third place (12 percent). GP care accounts for 6 percent.
Lowest household incomes account for highest health care costs
The highest health care costs are made by households in the lowest income brackets, also if differences in age distribution and gender between the various income groups are taken into account. The health care costs of the lowest income group are approximately one and a half times as high as the costs of the highest income group. This applies to almost all types of care, but the largest difference is recorded in second-line mental health care. Obstetric and maternity care constitute an exception as they are higher for the highest income categories.
Average costs basic health Insurance by household income (standardised), 2010
Differences by ethnic background
The costs of health care averaged 2,135 euro in 2010 in the native Dutch population, versus 1,790 euro in the population with a non- western background. The amount is higher for native Dutch people, because the costs for health care become higher as people grow older and people with a non-western background are underrepresented in the highest age categories. After correction for differences in age distribution, the average costs of health care for under-65s with a non-western background prove to be about 17 percent higher than for their native Dutch counterparts. Hospital care and second-line mental health care are the highest cost items.
Average health care costs covered by the basic health insurance policy by ethnic background, 2010
Marc Aaldijk and Tessa van Zonneveld