Background: Consumer mobility is an important aspect of a health insurance system based on managed competition. Both the general population and insured with a chronic illness should enjoy an equal opportunity to switch their insurer every year. We studied possible differences in the rates of switching between these two groups in the Netherlands. Methods: A structured questionnaire was sent to 1500 members of Nivel’s Dutch Health Care Consumer Panel (response rate: 47%) and to 1911 chronically ill members of the National Panel of the Chronically ill and Disabled (response rate: 84%) in February 2016. Associations between switching and background characteristics were estimated using logistic regression analyses with interaction effects. Results: In general, we did not find significant differences in switching rates between the general population and chronically ill population. However, a combination of the population and background characteristics demonstrated that young insured with a chronic illness switched significantly less often than young insured from the general population (1% versus 17%). Conclusions: Our results demonstrated that the group of young people with a chronic illness is less inclined to switch insurer. This observation suggests that this group might either face difficulties or barriers which prevents them from switching, or that they experience a high level of satisfaction with their current insurer. Further research should therefore focus on unravelling the mechanisms which explain the differences in switching rates.

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BMC Health Services Research
Health Systems and Insurance

van der Schors, W., Brabers, A.E.M, & de Jong, J.D. (2020). Does the chronically ill population in the Netherlands switch their health insurer as often as the general population? Empirical evidence from a nationwide survey study. BMC Health Services Research, 20, 1–11. Retrieved from