Health insurance premiums: Changing plans may save you money
Changing insurance plans for 2021 may turn out to be very interesting this year. While the average prices have gone up, the price gaps between insurance plans have increased yet again. According to Zorgwijzer, the difference between the cheapest and most expensive basic plan is a mind-blowing 504 euros in 2021. That is serious money.
The end of the year approaches, which means celebrating Sinterklaas and Christmas with your family. But let’s not forget another important activity: switching health insurance plans.
Curious how much you can save on healthcare?
To help you get forward, we have listed some important questions and answers about the Dutch healthcare system.
What is covered in the basic insurance?
The basic insurance is already quite substantial in terms of cover, as it includes:
- Consultations and treatments with your regular physician (GP)
- Scheduled hospital treatments or consultations with a specialist
- Urgent medical care and ambulance transportation
- Psychological healthcare
- Urgent medical care abroad using your EHIC
All urgent care regarding COVID-19 is also covered through your basic insurance package. There is no need to get extra cover. Children (until they are 18) are insured for free. They won’t pay any premiums or deductible. Moreover, they get most dental treatments reimbursed as well.
Good to know: insurance companies are obligated to accept anyone who applies for a basic insurance package, regardless of their age, sex or medical history.
How much does a good insurance plan cost in 2021?
The prices for basic health insurance range from 109 to 148 euros per year if you choose a 385 euros deductible. You will pay a few euros extra if you want to choose your own hospital for scheduled treatments. If you want to choose your healthcare provider at all times, you will end up paying around 125 to 130 euros per month for a basic plan with a “freedom of choice” restitution policy.
Good to know: you may be entitled to a healthcare allowance from the government, depending on your income.
Should I increase my deductible (eigen risico)?
Raising your deductible excess (eigen risico) to 885 euros will lower your premium with approximately 20 to 25 euros per month, which is significant. This little trick will save you money if your healthcare expenses stay below 385 euros next year. However, if you expect an expensive scheduled hospital treatment or if you need a lot of medication, it may be unfavourable to choose a higher than the standard deductible.
The standard deductible excess is 385 euros in 2021, just like in previous years. Choosing a lower deductible is not possible.
What supplemental healthcare may I choose from?
The Dutch insurance companies offer a variety of packages that cover, for example:
- Dental care and hygiene
- Alternative therapy and medication
- Glasses and lenses
When choosing supplemental insurance, be sure to check whether your reimbursement amount is higher than the premium you are paying. Otherwise, it may be cheaper to pay for certain supplemental care out of pocket.
What do I need to do if I want to switch insurance providers?
Changing your health insurance plan is easy, as long as you do it before the first of January 2021. Just follow these five steps:
- Go online and check a comparison website
- Find the insurance you want, view your plan and apply online
- Your old insurance plan will be cancelled automatically by December 31
- Your new insurance plan will commence on the first day of the year
- You always have a 14-day reflection period to make changes or go back to your old plan
Am I obligated to obtain Dutch health insurance?
Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover medical expenses. Although, this may be different for international students without a job.
If you are unsure about your insurance status, contact Zorgverzekeringslijn.nl on 0800 – 64 64 644 to ask for help. Once you know you are eligible, you can use Zorgwijzer’s English comparison tool to find a cheap and good plan for your situation.