Better off without the AWBZ?

Date: 31 januari 2008.

The AWBZ (Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten, the General Act on Exceptional Medical Expenses) was introduced fifty years ago for people with congenital or chronic conditions.

The AWBZ paid for care that was uninsurable otherwise and improved their quality of life. Now that everyone can take out health insurance and the municipalities are obliged to help everyone to participate in society (WMO – Wet maatschappelijke ondersteuning, the Social Support Act), the continued existence of the AWBZ is no longer so obvious. Moreover, the AWBZ is an expensive regulation for which it is difficult to keep the costs in check.

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