Health insurance premiums are rising by an average of €80 a year in 2019. Shopping for a new policy definitely pays off, considering the large premium gaps between insurance companies. But what things should you consider when comparing insurance providers?
Here’s a list of seven tips to help keep your insurance premium as low as possible:
1 Consider a budget policy
Budget policies are generally cheaper than the standard policies and will save you about €5 a month. The budget policy is similar to a natura policy in terms of cover. This means policy holders may undergo treatment in hospitals and clinics with which the insurance company has a contract. However, a budget policy has a much more limited selection of hospitals and clinics and if you decide to go elsewhere, you will have to pick up part of the bill yourself. Therefore, when your GP refers you to a hospital, it is important to check if that particular hospital is covered.
Good to know: if you need emergency medical care you will be reimbursed by your insurer, whatever type of policy you may have
2 Increase your deductible excess
If you opt to increase the deductible (eigen risico) by €500 above the statutory €385, you can cut your premiums by €300 a year. Keep in mind that you will need to pay the first €835 of any treatment, so, if you expect to go to hospital or if you use a lot of medication, it may not be profitable to increase your excess.
3 Don’t take out supplementary insurance
You need to pay a premium for supplemental insurance and sometimes it is cheaper to pay for certain things yourself instead. This is definitely the case for items like birth control, glasses and contact lenses. Our tip is to check the difference between the premium you pay and what you will get back from the health insurer to decide if it is worth it.
4 Don’t take out dental insurance
The same story applies to dental insurance policies. It does not make sense to have dental insurance that covers €250 of treatment a year if you only have an annual check-up and visit a dental hygienist for a clean. The premium you will pay (around €150) is not proportionate to the dental costs (€90). It makes more sense to put some money aside and pay for dental treatment yourself.
5 Don’t stay with a collective insurance scheme
Both the consumer show Radar and comparison website Zorgwijzer have shown that collective health insurance schemes often prove to be more expensive than individual insurance policies. So, if you are currently insured through your employer, a sports club or your local council, you are probably paying more than you should.
Our tip? Apply for a new, individual health insurance policy. Check out Zorgwijzer’s English comparison tool.
6 Pay for a full year’s insurance in one go
If you decide to pay the premium once, at the start of the year, you will usually end up saving 2% on the total bill or €30 to €40. Remember, you will need to have around €1,200 free to pay over in one go.
7 Claim insurance benefits
The government offers insurance benefits for people with a low income (zorgtoeslag) to help you pay the monthly premium. Most youngsters and students can claim this benefit – which can be worth as much as €99 a month. In order to qualify you must meet the following conditions:
- You are at least 18 years old
- You currently have Dutch health insurance (any will suffice)
- You do not earn more than €29,562 for a single person or €37,885 (couple) in 2019
- Your financial assets are below €114,776 euro(individuals) or €145,136 (couples) in 2019
All international workers (and their family members) and international students who are also working in the Netherlands must take out Dutch health insurance. And if you are planning to switch insurer this year – remember, you must let your current insurer know by the end of December. You have until the end of January to pick a new provider.
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