The annual window for changing your health insurance has officially begun. Comparing and switching plans should pay off, as price differences have increased yet again. Here is what you need to know for 2022.
Dutch health insurance companies have increased their premiums in 2022 by €48 a year on average. According to Zorgwijzer’s price overview, the average basic health insurance accounts to €128.30 euro per month with the statutory €385 own risk payment.
Roughly 85% of the population is insured with either Zilveren Kruis, VGZ, CZ or Menzis. These insurers have increased their premiums by € 3, € 8.20, €4.90 and €3.25 per month respectively.
Why are prices rising?
Healthcare costs have risen quite dramatically over the last 10 years. Yearly premiums are around €300 to €400 higher, while the own risk element rose from €170 to €385 per individual.
‘Price rises in the health insurance market mainly have to do with our ageing society, increase in chronic diseases and new medical innovations,’ says Koen Kuijper, an insurance expert at Zorgwijzer.
People with a low income or claiming benefits will be compensated for the increasing costs next year through a higher healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag). The new amounts will be made public soon by the Belastingdienst.
€536 price gap
Zorgwijzer has found the price gap between the cheapest and most expensive health insurance has stretched to €536 in 2022. ‘The reason for this huge gap is the fact that restitution (restitutie) insurance policies, which offer superior terms and conditions, are becoming increasingly costly for insurers to maintain Moreover, insurers are competing heavily with each other,’ says Kuijper.
The total price gap could be even bigger when you also take into account supplemental or top up policies that cover dentistry, physiotherapy or orthodontics.
Comparing plans pays off
Considering the large price fluctuations, it makes a lot of sense to take a closer look at your current plan and see if there are cheaper alternatives.
‘A lot of Dutch people are over-insured, meaning they get a cover for things like maternity care, braces or wigs, but don’t actually claim any of these expenses,’ says Kuijper.
In other words, it could be worthwhile checking whether you use the cover you have right now. You could save money by removing modules that you don’t really need.
‘Most people are unaware of the potential savings. They tend to stick to their collective health insurance, which is usually arranged through the employer or membership organisation,’ Kuijper concludes. About two thirds of the population have a collective plan.
Choosing a new plan?
It is smart to pay special attention to certain factors, when choosing a new health insurance provider
- The hospitals and care providers that are within the insurer network
- The cover limits for supplemental care, such as alternative medication
- Insurer discounts, for example when increasing the own risk payment voluntarily
There are several comparison sites that will help you by highlighting the most important features of each plan. Zorgwijzer has a fully functioning English comparison tool and an English customer service to suit your needs.
More information about policy details may also be found on Zorgverzekeringskaart.nl, which contains all the available health insurance plans.
The official deadline for switching health plans is December 31 at midnight. If you close an insurance before this time, the new insurer will make sure that your old plan is automatically cancelled which is much easier than manually switching your plan.
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