As we move into 2024, over one million people from the Netherlands will switch their health insurance provider. Securing the best plan for yourself is not only about finding the lowest premiums. It is also about understanding what you actually need and how to best meet these needs.
Here are three crucial insights that will help you and your family navigate through the different health plans and secure the best option for 2024.
1 Assess the value of the cheapest plans
When considering health insurance options for 2024, it’s tempting to focus solely on the price. However, selecting the cheapest plan without considering its coverage and benefits could end up being more costly in the long run.
Let’s take a look at the five cheapest plans in 2024 as an example:
- FBTO Basis: € 131.95
- VinkVink Basis: € 132.90
- De Friesland Zelf Bewust: € 136.95
- Zorg en Zekerheid Zorg Gemak: € 138.65
- Univé Zorg Select: € 138.95
You can compare them here (in Dutch: zorgverzekering vergelijken).
While these plans offer the lowest premiums, there are some key considerations before you decide to apply for one of them:
- Coverage depth: the above plans only cover the basics, such as hospitalisation, medication and psychological care. You might want to opt for extra coverage, especially in situations like pregnancy, sports-related injuries, or dental issues.
- Provider network: Examine if the plan provides access to an extensive network of hospitals and clinics. Check upfront whether your preferred healthcare providers are included within the plan’s cover.
- Additional benefits: check for extra benefits that are included with the plan, such as discounts for gyms, vouchers, health prevention programmes and dental accident insurance.
Remember that the best plan for someone else may not be the best for you. Prioritise your unique needs and circumstances to find the perfect fit.
Zorgwijzer’s comparison tool will help you make an informed decision, ensuring that you choose a plan that best suits your needs and budget. Their tool is fully translated to English.
2 Your collective insurance is not the best option
In the Netherlands, about two-thirds of people arrange health insurance through their employer or an organisation they are a member of, such as a sports club. This is known as collective insurance. This type of plan is often perceived to offer discounts, thereby being more cost-effective. However, the reality can be quite different.
Contrary to popular belief, those who opt for collective insurance end up paying, on average, €59 per year more than they would with a regular individual plan. After all, what are the odds that the collective insurance plan offered to you is the best or the most affordable option among the hundreds of other plans available?
So even though collective insurance plan may seem appealing and trustworthy, there are options available that are simply cheaper or better suited to your specific needs. So do look at individual plans as well.
3 Consider saving, instead of insuring
More and more Dutch citizens are considering saving money instead of opting for supplementary insurance, especially as premiums rise while coverage goes down.
“If the annual cost of insurance is higher than the potential reimbursements, it makes sense to set aside money each month for future needs rather than pay the premiums,” says Koen Kuijper from Zorgwijzer.
Let’s say that you need yearly dental visits, including the occasional cleaning or x-ray. Then your yearly dental costs will usually not exceed €70. The cheapest dental insurance, covering dental work of up to €250 per year, will cost €9 to €12 or between €108 and €144 a year.
If you need new glasses next year, they will cost you around €250. But the cheapest supplementary coverage starts at about €15 a month, for which you will get back just €75 towards your glasses.
In this case, opting for supplementary insurance may not be cost-effective. However, it could be a sensible choice if the plan includes additional benefits that you are likely to use, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic services, or acupuncture.
Securing the best health insurance in 2024 requires a mix of personal insight and market knowledge. But don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when comparing plans. There are several good health insurance comparison sites out there to help you with your quest.
One of the better ones is Zorgwijzer.nl, renowned for its English-speaking experts and user-friendly selection tool. Their site simplifies the process, making it easier for you to find a plan that aligns with your needs and preferences. Check their website here.
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