More people to swap health insurer, Zilveren Kruis cuts premiums

Some 1.4 million people are expected to move to a new health insurer during the change-over period at the end of the year, according to TNS Nipo research.

In total, 8.5% of policy holders are set to switch, compared with 7.2% in 2012. In particular, people aged 22 to 44 plan to make a change with the over-65s least likely to move.

Seven out of 10 will move to a new insurer because of low premiums, the research found. Insurance companies have until November 18 to make their 2014 charges known.


Zilveren Kruis – part of the Achmea group – has become the first of the big insurers to publish its fees for next year, cutting the annual premium by almost €100 to €99.95 a month. This has been made possible by cheaper medicine prices and ‘sharper contracts’ with healthcare providers.

Last week, the Volkskrant reported that pressure on prices from the big insurance companies is making it difficult for physiotherapists and speech therapists to earn a proper income.

Health insurers booked combined profits of €1.4bn last year, double their 2011 earnings, leading to government pressure for premium cuts.

Dutch health insurance is made up of a basic package, determined by the government, and top-up policies.

Since the insurance system was reformed in 2006, some 3% to 4% of people swap insurer during the change-over window at the end of the year.

Some 95% of the market is in the hands of four big combines: CZ, Menzis, Achmea and VGZ/Univé.

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