Publicatie datum

Consumer choice of social health insurance in managed competition.

Kerssens, J.J., Groenewegen, P.P. Consumer choice of social health insurance in managed competition. Health Expectations: 2003, 6(4), 312-322
Download de PDF
Objective: To promote managed competition in Dutch health insurance, the insured are now able to change health insurers. They can choose a health insurer with a low flat-rate premium, the best supplementary insurance and/or the best service. As we do not know why people prefer one health insurer to another, we investigated their reasons for selecting their health insurer and assessed the importance of the supplementary benefit package and the flat-rate premium. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 468 of a total of 884 (52.9%). Data were compared among three groups. The first group comprised those who left one health insurer for another (exit). The second group had joined the health insurer (entry) and the third group comprised those who did not switch (stayers). Results: Those in the entry group were statistically significantly less satisfied with their former insurance organization than those in the other groups (exit and stayers) with the insurance organization under investigation. They were also less satisfied than the other groups in respect of the flat-rate premium. Those in the exit group were younger and seemed to be in better health. In general, the insured were only aware of small differences between health insurance funds and the three groups did not differ from each other in this respect. About a quarter of the entry group reported the flat-rate premium as a reason for selecting a particular health insurance fund. However, the most frequently reported reason, for both exit and entry, was the benefit package of the supplementary insurance. Conclusions: In the absence of clear differences between insurance organizations, the advantages of managed competition maybe too difficult to achieve. (aut.ref.)