Fewer people are switching health insurer than expected

The number of people changing health insurance company during the end of year window is likely to be less than expected, according to major insurers.

Research by the Nivel institute and Univé and VGZ insurance companies shows that 5.5% of policyholders are likely to make the switch.

Last year 7.2% of people moved to a new company. The insurers represent 4.3 million people, or about 25% of the total market.

Of those making the change, one in five opted for a cheaper, internet-based policy. Fewer than 5% have gone for a budget policy with limited hospital access and just 1% are cancelling their top-up policies to cover extra care.


Insurance comparison websites had predicted a far higher changeover and a sharp drop in the number of people taking out top-up policies.

VGZ spokesman Frank Elion said the comparison websites attract a certain type of person who always looks at ways to cut health insurance costs and this may explain the different forecasts.

The contents of the basic health insurance policy are determined by the government and insurance companies have to compete on price.

This year they have introduced a number of budget policies, based on limited hospital access. For example, one VGZ policy entitles clients to use just 16 hospitals nationwide for non-emergency care.

People can also opt to increase the statutory own-risk payment of €360 next year to up to €860 in return for reduced premiums.

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