Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 4

Other than a Health Care Insurance we also have a Long-Term Care Insurance. We call the scheme AWBZ, but I will call it here LTCI (= long-term care insurance). For a while this scheme has been very comprehensive and because of the LTCI and the other health care insurance The Netherlands ranked with the Scandinavian countries among the best in Europe re health care. But in recent years the government has made drastic changes and our long-term care system is now in my opinion an absolute mess. I will tell more about this later.At this point I want to find out what premium I have to pay for the LTCI. This premium is also taken out of my pension before I receive it. I looked for information on the internet but again, I could not find it. The premium is decided annually, so it may be different this year than last year. The day before yesterday I also asked the agency which is supposed to inform us about government measures what the premium is for the LTCI and this morning there was an answer: like last year it is 12.15%. But this answer is incomplete: there is no information on the maximum amount over which this percentage is due. If that amount is higher than it was last year people with a higher income have to pay more. So I write again and ask for this additional information.

I receive regular newsletters about health- and long-term care on the internet and this morning readers are asked to give a reaction to a question related to bringing hospitals under a market regime. I write that as a user I am against market principles in care, because in the long run it will drive up prices and I am unwilling to pay for the far too high salaries of top functionaries or the profits of entrepreneurs in health care.

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