Should people who live unhealthy lives pay more for healthcare?

Lately you have heard it more and more often that someone says: ‘I actually think that smokers and drinkers should pay more health insurance premiums’. People who exercise little and eat unhealthy food also have an unhealthy lifestyle. Should something be changed about this, and what then?


People think more about their lifestyle

If you had to pay more for your health insurance premium because you have a poor lifestyle, this will be a reason for many people to adjust their lifestyle. After all, it saves money! This has the advantage that if people change their lifestyle on a large scale, the whole of the Netherlands will become healthier. Everyone is happier, businesses run better, and less money is needed to help people. Things will then be better for all of us.

Healthy people don’t pay for unhealthy people

As it is now, everyone pays the same health insurance premium. What it actually comes down to is that people who consciously live an unhealthy lifestyle have their healthcare costs paid for by others. This is of course not right, it is not fair. If you make people with an unhealthy lifestyle pay more, this is no longer the case, but everyone pays approximately their own costs.


Where do you draw the line?

The difficult thing is, if we had to pay more for an unhealthy lifestyle, the question is: What does an unhealthy lifestyle mean? Okay, if you smoke, then it’s clear that it’s unhealthy. But if you enjoy a glass of alcohol, when does it become unhealthy? And a fries for example, that can’t hurt, right? When exactly do you have an unhealthy lifestyle? Where do you draw the line? Practically speaking, it is almost impossible to classify everyone as healthy or unhealthy. There will also be people who eat unhealthy, but never have any problems with their health, should they also pay more?

Too little knowledge about healthy lifestyle

If it really becomes the case that you have to pay more for an unhealthy lifestyle, everyone must of course have enough knowledge to have a healthy lifestyle. There is still a lot of uncertainty about what is and is not healthy. For example, many people think that lighting products are good for you, but that is often not the case at all. That is why it is sometimes difficult to live a healthy life.


What weighs more, the advantages or the disadvantages? Looking at it as it is now, it’s not likely to be implemented anytime soon. It is currently impossible to classify everyone as healthy or unhealthy.
Maybe it works better the other way around. If you can demonstrate that you live a healthy lifestyle, you will have to pay less.

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