A massive 43 percent of Netherlands residents fear they will no longer be able to afford their health insurance after insurers announce the premiums for next year, BNR reports based on a study by comparison site Independer. The healthcare industry expects a record number of people to switch health insurers this year, NU.nl reports.
On Budget Day, the Ministry of Public Health announced that the basic health insurance package would increase by 127 euros to 1,649 euros per year. Health insurers use this calculation premium as a guideline when increasing their premiums. All health insurers must announce their rates by November 12. DSW already announced its basic health insurance premium would increase by 9.75 euros per month.
The Ministry also announced that health insurers will no longer be allowed to give a discount on collective health insurance next year. This collective discount is now up to 5 percent, and about two-thirds of Netherlands residents have such a collective discount, according to BNR.
All in all, Netherlands residents can expect a significant price increase for health insurance next year. According to the Independer study, 81 percent worry about the coming price increase, and nearly half expect to be unable to afford it. Forty percent said they would consider switching insurers.
Every year, about 1.2 million Netherlands residents switch health insurers in November and December. That is about 7 percent of the total. “This year, many more people will be looking for a new policy,” Wim Groot, the professor of Health Economics at the University of Maastricht, said to NU.nl. “I think we’ll see a record number of switchers, definitely over 8 percent.” The Dutch healthcare authority NZa and the Independer also expect many more switchers at the end of this year.
“If you’re going to choose a new policy when it’s cold outside and energy prices and inflation are rising, health insurance is definitely something you’d look to save on,” Groot said. He expects people will also cancel their additional coverage. “Do you really need that dental insurance and coverage for your glasses?”
Mirjam Prins, Healthcare Manager at Independer, told NU.nl that there are many ways to lower your health insurance premium. But she warned Netherlands residents not to be reckless. “For example, you can increase the deductible by 500 euros to 885 euros to save 300 euros in premium per year. But do you have that 885 euros in your pocket if you suddenly need it? If you opt for a policy in which you can’t go to every hospital, that shouldn’t be a problem. But think about what it will cost if you have to travel far to the hospital in the event of a leg fracture. Make sure that such savings are well-considered choices.”
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