Health insurance costs to rise sharply

The average cost of a health insurance policy is set to reach around €1,188 per adult, some €20 above official government estimates and €120 more than last year, says health insurance association ZN. The government’s estimate is too rosy ‘for political reasons,’ ZN director Martin Bontje told reporters.

ZN claims that health insurers lost around €40 per policy last year, when the new insurance system was introduced, because insurers slashed prices to attract customers. The organisation estimates between 50% and 75% of policy holders will change insurers this year again, further adding to administrative costs. Holland introduced a new health insurance system last year under which children are free and adults can chose from a wide variety of insurance companies, all of whom must offer a standard package. Extra items, such as more than nine physiotherapy sessions, can be covered by top-up policies. Insurers also offered discounts for special groups, such as people who ate organic food, and introduced special company-wide policies at cheaper rates.
Finance minister Gerrit Zalm told MPs during today’s financial debate on the budget that he was not concerned about a sharp rise in premiums. If this happens, the next cabinet could increase the amount paid to people on low incomes to compensate for the cost. The compensation is currently €33 a month.

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