Finance

Postponement of care threatens to cost patients twice their deductible

This is due to the way health insurers pay hospitals for the care they provide to patients. The problem arises when patients are faced with delay after an initial appointment with a specialist.

According to the agreement with the insurers, a maximum of 120 days can elapse between the start and the end of the treatment. That maximum term is now regularly exceeded due to care that has been postponed due to the crowds caused by the corona crisis.

Pay twice

If the treatment period is extended over the turn of the year, Leiden is in load. “If you’re unlucky you handling administrative started in year one and year two ends with the last follow-up, you have about treatment twice pay the deductible,” Dianda Veldman explains. She is director of Patients Federation Netherlands.

“And that is of course bizarre, because you are already disadvantaged by having to wait so long,” she says. “But you are also twice the risk with 385 euros deductible.”

It is an existing and known problem, but due to the corona crisis it affects many more patients, Veldman fears. Her organization has been lobbying for years for the abolition of the deductible, but the chance of this is very small, Veldman is realistic about that.

Rising healthcare costs

The deductible in healthcare is the amount that everyone has to pay for healthcare from the basic package, such as having an X-ray taken, transport by ambulance or blood tests. Expenditure on care exceeding the amount of 385 is subsequently reimbursed. Not all care falls within the compulsory deductible, a visit to the general practitioner or maternity care is always reimbursed.

The idea behind this threshold is that people will be less likely to call on care as a result. Abolishing it is therefore not an option in political The Hague, because it is seen as a good means of keeping the ever-rising health care costs under control.

Veldman has therefore pinned her hopes on the leniency of insurers, who should waive the people who are now concerned once paying the deductible the second time for the same treatment.

Meeting patients

According to her, the fact that this is administratively difficult and costs money should not be an objection, given the support for many other parties due to corona. “Then it makes sense to accommodate patients who now have to wait so long, whose disease is getting worse, who are in a lot of pain and are unable to work.”

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