Financial risks of illness: a shared responsibility? Solidarity and deservingness in health insurance and disability insurance in the Netherlands

Maartje J. van der Aa

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Being sick costs money, but who is responsible for paying for it? For centuries, healthcare costs and health-related benefits have been funded by all residents. Since the nineteenth century, this has been arranged formally in social insurance schemes, which have been strongly reformed in the Netherlands since the 1980s. This dissertation found that such reforms have had different effects on solidarity. Where solidarity is limited on specific points in insurance policies that cover health-related loss of income and long-term care, in other cases curative care has been maintained or even expanded.
With regard to the opinions about distributing collective funds from these disease-related social insurances, it appears that a more conditional approach was taken toward benefits for illnesses than for a reimbursement of healthcare costs. This again points to the special status of social health insurance programmes compared to insurance for illness-related loss of income. It was also found that opinions differ with respect to granting or not allocating funds from social insurance schemes. With respect to policy practice, we should not view general public opinion as 'the opinion' of 'the average Dutch person'.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Maarse, Johannes, Supervisor
  • Evers, Silvia, Supervisor
  • Klosse, Saskia, Supervisor, External person
  • Paulus, Agnes, Co-Supervisor
Award date5 Apr 2018
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs9789462338944
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cost of care
  • healthcare
  • incapacity for work
  • social insurance
  • solidarity
  • reform
  • opinions

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