It is extremely doubtful whether or not health insurance premiums go down next year, despite the massive profits booked by insurers last year, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.
Both market leader Achmea and competitor Menzis have dampened expectations of a reduction, despite health minister Edith Schippers’ statement that higher profits should lead to lower premiums.
Health insurers booked combined profits of €1.4bn last year, double their 2011 earnings.
A drop in premiums – currently around €1,100 a year for an adult – would benefit the government which is keeping a close eye on spending power developments ahead of a new round of austerity measures, the Financieele Dagblad points out.
Menzis chief executive Roger van Boxtel told the paper health insurers are being given more jobs to do and are getting less compensation for the risks they run. Menzis cut its premiums by 50 cents a month this year.
Achmea told the paper premiums did drop in 2013, despite the increase in healthcare costs. Achmea, which operates the Zilveren Kruis Achmea, Agis en Avéro Achmea brands, actually froze its own premiums for the basic health insurance package and raised them for top-up policies.
All four big health insurers said much depends on any ‘surprises’ announced by the government at next month’s budget, the FD said.
Last year, most companies either froze premiums or reduced them by a few euros a year even though the own-risk element rose by €120 a year
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