Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 8

Quiet day today. In the afternoon I look at my e-mail and surf on the internet, trying to find out about income taxes in 2009. January 23rd is pay day for many pensioners. I will receive the amounts I am entitled to on my bank account. When there are changes in the amount the pension fund sends us a notice. Like many other pensioners I receive my pension from no less than 4 different sources: my state pension, two occupational pensions and what I get from an insurance I have concluded myself, because in my first job my employer thought it was not necessary for a young woman to build up pension rights. You will get married, he said, and then your husband will take care of you. At that time my old age was too far off and I accepted his proposal. I shouldn’t have, but I had not yet thought through my new position of employee.

I find the tax rates on the internet and to my surprise I also find the information I was looking for about the premium of the long-term care insurance (LTCI). It is 12.15% over an income up to a limit of € 31,589. This means that I will have to pay about € 320 a month for the LTCI. The amount I pay into the LTCI is not specified on the notice of my major occupational pension. It is included in the amount for taxes and another social security scheme. Together with the premium for the health care insurance, which amounts to € 279 a month, I will have to pay in all € 599 a month for health care and long-term care. That is as long as I do not use any care. As soon as I get medical or long-term care ((ltc) I will have to pay. For health care there are deductibles up to an amount of € 155 a year. Not all health care is taken into consideration for deductibles. I can go to the GP and the fee will not be a deductible. The underlying principle is that people will think twice before they use the medical services. At the time this rule was discussed in Parliament one of the MPs was a GP. He convinced his fellow parliamentarians that people ought to be able to go to their GP without financial impediments. In the Netherlands the GP is the gatekeeper of health care. In order to go to a specialist we have to get a referral from our GP. Therefore it is not logical that we are punished financially for a visit to a specialist. It is rather the GP’s decision than our own. The deductibles do not work the way they are meant to, they only mean users of health care are charged another € 155 for medical services.

For ltc we have to make co-payments. It is nearly impossible to find out how much we have to pay because the rates are calculated per individual, related to age, household composition and income from wages/pensions and assets. I will not go into this now, I’ll leave it for later (maybe).

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