Huge differences in health insurance premiums; switching pays off
Zorgwijzer is a comparison website for anyone who needs Dutch health insurance or wants to change their plan. Make sure to use their easy-to-use English health insurance comparison tool, suitable for expats.
All health insurance companies have announced their new premiums for 2020. On average, people in the Netherlands will pay around 115 to 120 euros for basic healthcare, which is approximately 2 euros more than now. This change may not seem like much, but don’t be fooled: the price gap between different health plans is considerable.
Switching to another insurance provider for 2020 will likely turn out to be very beneficial, especially since the government has reduced the discounts on collective insurance plans. People with such a plan, for example, through their employer, should use this opportunity to choose a cheaper option.
But what to look for when comparing health insurance plans?
Here are three useful tips:
1. Make separate comparisons for family members
If you are planning on choosing a new health insurance package, it is always wise to make separate comparisons for your partner and family. This is because health insurance is personal. You and your partner will likely have very different preferences. So, after you and your partner have found suitable insurance, you can easily co-insure any children on either your or your partner's plan.
Be sure to insure your children on the most extensive policy, as they will benefit from the coverages that are part of that particular plan. Good to know: children below 18 are insured for free. You won’t have to pay any excess either.
2. Choose the insurance you actually need
For a lot of people, good basic health insurance is more than enough in terms of medical cover. Supplemental care is often not necessary because the basic plan is already quite substantial. Here are five important things that are covered in the basic package:
- Consultations with your GP (huisarts)
- Hospital treatment and emergency care
- Mental health care
- Emergency medical care abroad (up to Dutch tariffs)
Supplemental insurance could be useful, but only if you are going to use certain types of healthcare, such as:
- Dental care
- Alternative medication (and treatment)
When choosing supplemental insurance, make sure to balance the costs of the policy against the insurance cover. For example, it doesn’t make sense to purchase dental insurance when you only have around 80 euros of dental costs per year and usually never have any dental problems. In this case, it is much cheaper to pay for these expenses yourself, instead of paying a premium of 110 euros per year.
3. Increase your deductible
This tip may be interesting for some people, especially those who are healthy and generally don’t require regular medical care or pharmaceutics. By increasing the deductible excess from 385 to 885 euros, you receive a significant discount on the insurance premium. Depending on the insurer, this could mean paying up to 300 euros less per year for the same insurance.
Example: Marc saves 250 euros per year on his premium by increasing his excess from 385 to 885 euros. This choice is financially beneficial as long as Mark’s yearly medical expenses stay below 635 euros (385 + 250). He could even end up saving up to 250 euros extra if his expenses stay below 385 euros.
Good to know: deductible excess is only applicable for basic health care, excluding your GP.
Switching is easy
Ready to switch insurance plans and save money? Then it is good to know that:
- December 31 is the last day to switch plans
- Your current health insurance policy is automatically cancelled by the new insurance company
- You have a 14 day reflection period to cancel your new plan and go back to your old insurance
Zorgwijzer has an easy English comparison tool to help you switch and save money. Are you unsure whether you should take out Dutch health insurance? Then check this useful page by Zorgwijzer. It contains a nifty flowchart to help you determine your insurance status. You can also contact Zorgwijzer directly. Their experts will be able to help you.