No Change in Own Risk for Health Costs after All
THE HAGUE, 06/09/13 - The own risk (eigen risico) for healthcare costs is not to become income-dependent after all. At the same time, the conservatives (VVD) and Labour (PvdA) have decided to scrap the so-called levy discount (hefingskorting) for people who earn more than 55,991 euros per year.
In the coalition accord last year, it was decided to make the own risk portion for health costs income-dependent from 2015. Higher incomes would then pay more health costs out of their own pocket than lower incomes. This was a concession by the VVD to the PvdA.
It has however now been decided to leave own-risk unchanged. Everyone will continue to pay the first 350 euros of health costs themselves (except those for the GP, the obstetrician and maternity care), after which the health insurer takes care of the rest. The own risk will however shortly be raised, within the framework of an adjustment for inflation.
It is already the case now that low incomes receive partial compensation for their own risk via the so-called healthcare allowance. Initially, the cabinet actually wanted to abolish this allowance with the introduction of the income-dependent own risk from 2015. That is also not going ahead.
The coalition has decided not to make own risk income-dependent from 2015 because it is thought this would involve extremely high implementation costs. The health insurers would have to have access to the salary of every person to calculate the size of the own risk. This would create a whole lot of administrative red tape.
Higher incomes will however be hit, because the cabinet will at the same time announce on Prince’s Day (17 September) that the levy discount will disappear for those earning over 55,991 euros gross per year. this means that they will no longer be able to deduct an amount of 2001 euros against their income tax.
The general levy discount applies for all taxpayers living in the Netherlands. It is expected that the levy discount will be reduced in stages. At the same time, sources say the so-called work discount for everyone with a job will go up in the future to a maximum of 950 euros.