Major Dutch health insurers to increase premiums next year
Achmea and CZ, with shares of 30,4 percent and 21,1 percent in the Dutch health insurance market, according to figures from Vektis, are warning of increases to health insurance premiums in 2019. Premiums are expected to increase more than they did last year.
Dutch health insurance
A Dutch health insurance policy is compulsory if you are living or working in the Netherlands. The three companies with the biggest market share when it comes to health insurance are Achmea, VGZ and CZ.
Health insurances from FBTO, Avéro Achmea, De Friesland Zorgverzekeraar, Zilveren Kruis ZieZo, Pro Life, OZF, Interpolis and Zilveren Kruis all fall under Achmea. OHRA, CZdirect, Delta Lloyd and CZ fall under the health insurer CZ.
Financial reserves running out
Achmea and CZ made losses of 175 million euros and 140 million euros respectively in 2017, and are already warning of increasing premiums next year. Increasing premiums can be expected due to the ageing population who need more care for a longer period of time. But another reason for the rising premiums are the financial reserves of health insurers, which are running out.
Each year, health insurers use a certain amount of their reserves to lower premiums and offer them under cost price to customers. However, with shrinking financial reserves, this is only possible for so long. In 2018, CZ used 259 million euros of their own reserves to push down premium costs.
This year, CZ’s monthly health insurance premiums for their Zorg-op-maatpolicy (custom care policy) rose by three percent and ended up at 116,25 euros per month. If the expected premium increases go ahead, this same policy will be 123,25 per month next year.
Preparing for disappointing premiums
According to health economist Wim Groot, health insurers warning of premium increases are doing so to manage customer expectations. Last year, health costs were lower than expected and this had a direct impact on this year’s premium costs. However, that was a one-off, which is why insurers are now preparing us for disappointing premiums.
For now, it is unclear by how much health insurance premiums will increase next year. Own risk and basic package costs will be announced on Prinsjesdag and in November the 2019 monthly premium costs will be disclosed.