Defining the 'Health Benefit Basket' in Nine European Countries - Evidence from the European Union Health Basket Project
European Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 2-10, Dec. 2005
9 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2010 Last revised: 5 Jul 2010
Date Written: December 1, 2005
This article identifies and analyses a framework for "health baskets," the taxonomy of benefit catalogues for curative services, and the criteria for the in- or exclusion of benefits in nine EU member states (Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain). Focusing on services of curative care, it is found that the explicitness of benefit catalogues varies largely between the countries. In the absence of explicitly defined benefit catalogues, in- and outpatient remuneration schemes have the character of benefit catalogues. The criteria for the in- or exclusion into benefit catalogues are often not transparent and (cost-)effectiveness is applied only for certain sectors. An EU-wide harmonization of benefit baskets does not seem realistic in the short or medium term as the variation in criteria and the taxonomies of benefit catalogues are large but not insurmountable. There may be scope for a European core basket.
Keywords: Health benefit plans, Health services, Health priorities, Nationalhealth programs, Insurance Benefits
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