Dutch health insurer decreasing premiums and own risk next year
Last week, the incoming government announced a freeze on the compulsory policy excess, known as own risk (eigen risico), contradicting the plans made in the governmental budget for next year, but stating that premiums would have to rise to compensate for the freeze.
One health insurer is going a step further and decreasing both own risk and monthly health insurance premiums.
Governmental budget plans
Earlier in the year, Dutch health insurance providers had hinted at rising premiums due to losses that they made in previous years, and the use of their own reserves to keep monthly premiums low.
In the plans announced on Prinsjesdag by the outgoing government, own risk was thus set to increase from 385 euros to 400 and premiums to rise by around 6 euros per month.
Despite the budget plans for 2018, the new Dutch government has announced intentions to freeze own risk next year and, in order to do so, up monthly premiums by a little more than 80 cents.
Dutch health insurer DSW
Health insurer DSW has, however, gone against expectations and lowered both the monthly premiums and own risk for its policies next year.
Monthly premiums will come in at 107,50 euros per month (1290 per year) and own risk will be lowered by 10 euros, giving an own risk of 375, which the health insurer itself will subsidise.
This reduction is possible due to a smaller increase in wages than expected in the healthcare sector, as well as the fact that DSW only refers patients to care providers, such as hospitals and GPs, with which it has specific agreements, thus fulfilling conditions which permit them to subsidise the own risk amount. DSW is also using its own reserves to lower the premiums.
Deadline for announcing health insurance premiums
As usual, DSW is the first health insurer in the Netherlands to release its premium and own risk figures this year.
Health insurers have until November 12 to communicate their monthly premiums for 2018 to the public, and although DSW has reduced its premiums, other insurers are not obliged to follow suit.