The power of insurance companies in health care

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Description:

Health insurance companies are getting more and more power on the availability and the price of healthcare in the Netherlands. This is caused by liberalization of the health care market and the overall increase of costs of health care.

Enablers (the enablers are driving the costs up):

- Aging population
- More diseases
- Consolidation in the insurances (less competition drives costs up)
- Mergers between hospitals
- Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry
- Patents/intellectual property
- Insurance companies deciding to which hospital you are allowed to go

Inhibitors:

- Government regulations
- Power of large pharmaceutical companies (supplier power)
- Power of the hospitals and other medical professionals (buyer power)
- Competition from low-costs countries (providing generic drugs)

Paradigms:

The power of health insurance companies is increasing. This is due to liberalization of the health care market and due to a closer link between health care providers and insurance companies, for instance insurance companies being owners of hospitals.

Experts:

Health insurance experts
Managers of healthcare providers

Timing:

In 2006 there was a reform of the Dutch health insurance market. While before there was a dual system (based on income), the current system provides a basic insurance for everyone (costing approx. 1000-1200 euro per person) and an extended insurance, which is optional.

Web resources:

www.minvws.nl
www.rivm.nl