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Discounts on health care premium for people with a healthy lifestyle. How do the Dutch people feel about it?

25 April 2024

In recent years, health insurers have invested in their own health programs to help their customers adopt healthy lifestyles: online apps or pedometers that allow policyholders to save for gift certificates or discounts on their premiums. The idea behind this is that healthy customers reduce health costs.

Yet health insurance providers are now discontinuing these health programs, according to a recent NOS report. Menzis discontinued SamenGezond earlier this year and ASR recently announced it was changing their Vitality program. According to the insurance providers, the programs are less effective and actually more costly than expected.

While it has been proven that rewards contribute to the choice to live healthier, another question is whether there is support for such solutions by health insurers. Accordingly, a recent survey by Motivaction (March 2024) shows that there are divisions in the acceptance of rewards for a healthy lifestyle. For example, 41% of Dutch people aged 18 to 80 say that people with a healthy lifestyle should receive discounts on their health insurance premiums. The rest of the Dutch population (59%) is against this or does not know.

Striking are the differences between groups of Dutch people in their support. In particular, acceptance of such discounts is low among Dutch people who exercise little (less than half an hour a day): 67% of them are against it or do not know. The same goes for Dutch people with poor physical health: among them, 70% do not support or do not know about discounts on health care premiums for people with a healthy lifestyle.

At the same time, these groups are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases or conditions. And they are more likely to see a health care provider for these conditions. A healthy lifestyle underlies the prevention or treatment of chronic conditions. Thus, among these very Dutch people there is the potential for such health programs to reduce the use of care. But there is a discrepancy: among the people who benefit the most, there is the least support for rewards for a healthy lifestyle.

What will it take to get these Dutch people on board, though? And to make health insurance programs effective and cost-effective? Every Dutch person is unique, with their own values and needs. Each healthcare client has a different outlook on life and an individual approach to healthcare. Target group thinking can realize more involvement, so that solutions for a healthy lifestyle become accessible to everyone.

Curious about how target group thinking can help with your health issue? Our health and vitality experts are happy to think along with you!

Karin Lammers

Functie Senior Research Consultant
Telefoon +31 (0)20 589 82 30

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