Consumers can save €100 a year switching health insurer: ACM

your notes and euro coins with a stethoscope

Three in four people could save money by switching health insurance company before the end of the year, the Dutch consumers authority ACM and national health council NZ said on Friday.

There are savings averaging €100 per year per person to be made without changing the basic provisions of the policy, the organisations say, based on their own research. Every year, some 6% of the population changes policy in the year-end window.

‘Switching health insurer ensures a dynamic market and keeps insurance companies on their toes,’ ACM director Chris Fonteijn said, while admitting that comparing policies can be time consuming.

Consumers have until the end of December to cancel their current policy and up to the end of January to choose a new one.

Earlier this month, the Dutch consumers association Consumentenbond said some health insurance companies are cloning basic health insurance policies and offering them for different prices under different labels.

Around 1,000 different healthcare policies are currently being offered by 50 different insurance companies and this is creating a policy jungle, the organisation said.

Achmea, for example, has five identical policies on offer, ranging in price from €105.50 to €119.45 a month. VGZ has six cloned policies with the lowest price set at €109.84 and the highest €122.20.

The government determines the make-up of the basic policy but health insurance companies are supposed to compete on price and on conditions – such as free choice of healthcare provider.

The International Community Advisory Platform is carrying out a new survey on healthcare in the Netherlands from the point of view of international workers and their families. Here’s your chance to say what you think about doctors, health insurance and hospitals.