Increasing health insurance prices: Is changing insurer worthwhile?
Dutch health insurance firms have all announced their premiums for 2019. On average, prices have gone up by 6,63 euros per month. Dutch citizens will pay around 118 euros a month for basic healthcare, according to Zorgwijzer.nl.
But is it worthwhile to change your insurance plan in 2019? I will try to explain why the answer to that question is: "Yes". Moreover, I will explain what you should pay attention to when choosing another health insurance plan.
Enormous price difference
Firstly, the price differences are enormous in 2019. The cheapest basic insurance policy will cost you 98,50 euros a month, whilst the most expensive basic policy has a price tag of almost 134 euros a month. The difference is well over 400 euros a year.
Besides the price difference for basic healthcare, there are significant pricing options for supplemental healthcare. To illustrate, if you add an 18-treatment physiotherapy plan to your basic healthcare insurance your monthly premium could cost between 130 and 171 euros, depending on the chosen insurance company. That’s over 40 euros a month difference for basically the same cover.
In short, comparing insurance policies can definitely save you a large sum of money.
The government has implemented some changes in next year’s basic insurance package:
- New treatment (intervention) for people who are overweight
- Extended physiotherapy cover for people with COPD
- There is a limit for out-of-pocket payment for medication (maximum: 250 euro a year)
Besides the changes to the basic insurance, your insurance company may also change the reimbursement level and terms of your supplemental insurance. Hence, it is wise to check whether your current policy still meets your current needs.
New health plan?
Changing your health insurance policy is a common practice. Each year, over one million people switch to another insurance plan. By switching, this group saves around 5 euros a month on average, according to the Dutch market authorities.
So, what should you look for in a health insurance plan?
First of all, consider all aspects of your lifestyle. For example, if you participate in different sporting activities, it may be sensible to have a cheap supplemental insurance package with six or more physiotherapy treatments. But that’s completely up to you, of course.
Also, consider that it is sometimes cheaper to pay for healthcare yourself. A good example is dental care. Let’s say you go to the dentist twice a year for a check-up and mouth-cleaning treatment. In this case, the costs involved are not worth insuring.
- Your dental costs will total around 60 euros a year
- The cheapest dental insurance will cost you over 100 euros a year
In conclusion: You will pay way more in insurance premiums than you will receive in treatments.
Expats and Dutch health insurance
Expats are obliged to take out Dutch health insurance, if they have a Dutch employer or pay income tax in the Netherlands. Just like any other Dutch citizen, they can switch insurance company each year. The window for this runs for six weeks from mid-November through to the 1st of January.
Good to know when changing your health plan:
- The new insurance company will handle the termination of your old insurance policy
- When switching your policy using the internet, you are granted a 14-day reflection period, during which you can cancel the application for the new health plan
ZorgWijzer.nl is the first health insurance broker in the Netherlands for expats and students from abroad. Use their English insurance comparison tool to get personalised results the fast and easy way. Their call centre is run by experts, ready to answer all your questions about health insurance in the Netherlands.