assistance business, it has thus become common practice that one company attends the clients of its competitor in times of need. Te calculations regarding remuneration are carried out afterwards and behind the scenes to make sure that each is compensated accordingly. Te client, naturally, does not have to worry about that.

In the Dutch assistance business, it has thus become common practice that one company attends the clients of its competitor in times of need

Now, could this work in other environments, too? Tat depends. Let’s try to identify some of the prerequisites that make this arrangement work in Holland: (1) It is paramount that the absolute number one condition is mutual trust. Do we trust our competitor to handle a critical situation that our client/member finds themselves in? Tey need medical assistance, matters of life and death may be at stake, which subcontractors (flight nurses/doctors, ambulances) do they use? What is their quality? And so on. Will our competitor be as good as we are in assisting our clients? And, will our competitor have the decency not to harass our clients for marketing purposes after the assistance has been delivered?

(2) Te general assistance attitude of the

participating companies shouldn’t differ too much from one another. If one assistance company defines assistance as a means to cut costs for its corporate clients (the insurance companies), or, on the contrary, as a profit centre, while the other company puts its clients and their wishes/needs at the centre of attention, you can be pretty sure that that won’t make a lasting relationship. (3) Te participating companies must be roughly

comparable in size, executing power and infrastructure without any of them being

dominant over the others.

(4) Te policies that fund the large-scale assistance should be more or less equal in terms of money (i.e. maximum covered amounts per insured item) and language (i.e. pre-existing conditions), so you will see patients assisted more or less equally. Te healthcare industry and insurance business are highly regulated in Holland. Every citizen is obliged – by law – to have private health insurance that must at least provide the so called Basic Cover. Tis Basic Cover is described in detail in the law and adherent Royal Decrees and therefore identical for everybody (i.e. regarding the coverage of fees for GPs, hospital admittance, ER, ambulance transfers, and so forth). It is based on a very detailed DRG-like scheme with fixed maximum

prices. It also covers situations abroad, but at ‘Dutch DRG prices’ as a maximum. As mentioned above, medical travel insurance in Holland typically offers complementary medical cover (if the actual prices are higher than the ‘Dutch DRG maximums’, which is usually the case outside North Western Europe) and repatriation, which the healthcare’s Basic Cover does not provide. Around 80 per cent of Dutch travellers take out medical travel insurance. (5) Tis is a no brainer: parties should be willing to enter into a joint LSI scheme.

Around 80 per cent of Dutch travellers take out medical travel insurance

30 | International Travel & Health Insurance Journal

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