The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 77–82 | Cite as

A public–private analysis of the new Dutch health insurance system

  • Hans Maarse
  • Yvette Bartholomée
Original paper


The 1 January 2006 will go down in history as a date that marked a significant change in Dutch health insurance. After many years of political debate and several failed attempts to implement a major reform—lastly in the early 1990s—the government mobilised a parliamentary majority for its plan to implement a fundamental reconstruction of health insurance [1]. The new legislation (Zorgverzekeringswet) puts an end to the traditional dividing line between the statutory sickness fund scheme (Ziekenfondswet) that covered about 63% of the population and private health insurance, covering the remaining 37%. A single mandatory scheme covering the entire population replaces the dual arrangement that has been a characteristic element of health care financing in the Netherlands since the Second World War [2].

A second cornerstone of the new health insurance system is the extension of market competition. Health insurers—which may operate on a for-profit basis—should compete on...


Private Health Insurance Market Competition Health Insurer Health Insurance Scheme Health Care Financing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of MaastrichtMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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