Small increase in health insurance premiums for 2020

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Photo credit: Kendal/Unsplash

Each year in November, health care insurance providers announce their premiums for the following year. In 2020 premium changes vary from an almost 10 € increase to a 6 € decrease, resulting in an average premium increase of 1-2 € per month.

Mandatory excess unchanged

The mandatory deductible (excess or ‘eigen risico’) for 2020 will not change and remains at € 385.

Healthcare benefit higher

If you are entitled to receive a healthcare benefit, you may expect an increase of 5,50 € (individuals) to 8 € (families) per month, which well exceeds the average rise in premium.

Changes in basic health insurance coverage

The government yearly redefines the coverage and conditions of the basic health insurance.
These are the most important changes for 2020:

-Compensation for overnight stay
-Stop smoking will be cheaper
-Non Invasive Prenatal test (NIPT) still covered
-Expensive (not covered) medicines sometimes reimbursed
(Read more about the changes in this newsletter.)

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 Possibility to change your policy or health care provider

No matter what your situation is, from now on until the end of the year, you have the option to look for a better deal. You may switch for instance to another insurance provider or make changes to your current policy. You have to do this before December 31st!

Changing your current basic health insurance policy

Changes you may consider:

            • Change the type of policy you have: from a restitution policy to an in-kind (‘natura’) policy or even to a budget policy. A restitution policy offers a free choice of healthcare provider, while a in-kind policy limits your choice to providers that have been contracted by your insurance company.
              If however your healthcare providers of choice are contracted, a cheaper in-kind policy may be the better option.
            • Change the level of excess: You may opt for voluntary excess (deductible or ‘eigen risico’) on top of your mandatory excess of € 385. If you go for a maximum of € 885 (€ 385 + € 500 voluntary excess) you may save 15-20% in premium (15-20 € per month).
            • Check if there is a special discount available: Many providers offer discounts to members of sport associations, people that are self-employed, entrepreneurs or students (if they need a mandatory health insurance). Check with your insurance provider.
            • Opt for a yearly instead of monthly payment: if you have the about € 1.400 it will cost available, you’ll save about 2% in premium. This is a return you likely won’t have at your savings account.

          (Read more about the details of the changes you can make in this newsletter.)

      Coverage: All basic health insurance policies by law cover the same medical services, treatments, diagnostics and medication. Changing in this package are not possible.

      Changing your health insurance provider

      While comparing health insurers, their premiums and their policies, it may well be attractive to switch. What should you take into consideration when looking for a health insurance provider with a lower premium:

            • Does your employer offer a corporate health insurance? It is worthwhile to check this. Even though the discount on the basic health insurance premium for ‘corporate deals’ will be maximized to 5% in 2020, a corporate package may offer other benefits.
            • What supplementary insurance do you need? While coverage for the basic health insurance is identical at all insurance providers, coverage and premiums for other medical services like dental, physiotherapy or alternative medicine may differ.
              So before you change, check if the other provider offers the supplementary package you need at an attractive premium, otherwise a reduced premium for the basic package may be offset by a worse deal for your supplementary insurance.
            • Level of service: When you are comparing health insurance providers, check reviews by their customers.
            • Check out the options, premiums and discounts other insurance providers offer for the type of policy and level of excess that you are looking for.

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      Is it wise to change your level of excess?

If you have been living for some time in the Netherlands, you should be able to check how much healthcare providers have charged you (or in most cases your insurance provider directly). Your insurance provider should be able to provide you with the total of claims made under your policy.It should also be indicated what costs are subject to excess. These were costs you have ended up paying yourself up to the maximum of your excess level.

If you expect that the level of claims for 2020 will not be (much) higher than the level of your current excess, it may be attractive to opt for a higher level of excess.

Beware however: You cannot predict for sure what may happen to you. If you incur considerable higher costs of healthcare, you should be able to pay the additional charges of € 500, being the difference between the maximum excess (€ 885) and the mandatory excess (€ 385). If other family members (over 18 years in age) are also insured on your policy your ‘risk’ increases as they all may have more healthcare cost than predicted. You can also opt for a lower level of voluntary excess in steps from 100 € to 500 €.

(Read more about health insurance providers and excess in this newsletter.)

What supplementary insurance do you really need?

If you have supplemental insurance, you may ask yourself if you need to be covered for all situations included in the package. For instance, you may be interested in coverage for physiotherapy, but the package you have may also cover contraceptives, glasses and alternative treatment, in which you are not particularly interested. Check if your insurance provider has a package that just covers your needs.

Other options to reduce your healthcare costs

The cost you incur for healthcare is made up of different charges and contributions. Next to premiums, personal contributions and the deductibles (‘eigen risico’) there are other costs you may have. Other health care needs, medication or medical aids your insurance does not cover.

          • Check if your health insurance provider (or any other for that matter) offers a supplementary insurance that partly covers those costs. Be aware however that a provider has no obligation to accept you for a supplementary insurance.
          • If you have a low (family) income you may be eligible for a healthcare benefit (‘Zorgtoeslag’) that covers part of the premium of your health insurance.
          • Some healthcare cost above an ‘income dependent threshold’ are deductible from your income tax.

Text courtesy of the Healthcare for International platform. Read the whole newsletter here.

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