First health insurer reveals 2021 premiums, increase higher than expected
DSW is, as usual, the first health insurance company in the Netherlands to announce their 2021 monthly premiums. The increase in price is higher than was predicted by the Dutch government in their budget plan.
Dutch health insurance premiums 2021
In the governmental budget plan announced on Prinsjesdag, the government revealed that they expected health insurance premiums to cost around 123 euros a month in 2021 - an increase of 5 euros compared to last year. However, DSW’s announcement reveals that the premium for their basic insurance will increase by 6,50 euros to 124,50 euros a month.
According to DSW, the increase in price will be offset by the increase in healthcare allowances. The maximum allowance will increase to 3,66 euros a month for a single person and 8,25 euros a month for a family.
The company’s director, Aad de Groot, said the 2021 premiums were higher than the government predicted because the latter repeatedly has an overly optimistic view on insurance premiums, and that continuously expects an increase that is lower than what insurance companies are offering. In 2019, DSW’s premiums increased by 6 euros - double the government’s predictions.
Effect of coronavirus on monthly premiums
DSW attributes the high premiums to increased costs of medicine and healthcare, and higher wages for healthcare workers. De Groot said coronavirus had had little impact on their premiums, saying the costs incurred by the coronavirus pandemic had been counteracted by reduced costs for other treatments.
However, De Groot acknowledges that, if the pandemic continues, costs could rise in 2021: “We have assumed a "normal year" of healthcare costs for 2021. That is, of course, quite uncertain, because no one knows exactly how things will go. For next year, nobody wants regular care to be scaled down. There is therefore a chance that more costs will be incurred.”
An end to the collective discount on premiums?
There is currently a discount on basic health insurance premiums available if the insurance is applied for a large group - such as a trade union or sports association. Members of these groups are then entitled to a lower premium, up to five percent less than the normal cost.
However, Tamara van Ark, the Minister for Medical Care and Sport, is looking to bring an end to this so-called collective discount from January 1, 2023, arguing that there is always a catch. “The premium is first increased, and then this increase is returned to some as if it were a discount,” Van Ark told the House of Representatives.