Two of the four big Dutch health insurance companies have lowered their premiums this year, as the annual season to switch insurers opens.
CZ has cut its premium for the basic package by €3.85 a month, while VGZ has cut €1 from the monthly price. Menzis has put up premiums by €1. Zilveren Kruis, the biggest of the big four, will announce its premiums later on Tuesday – which is deadline day for changes to be made public.
Together, the four companies control 90% of the market, offering policies from around €120 a month.
The health ministry said in September it expected premiums would rise by an average of €3. Although the government always publishes an estimated increase, it is up to health insurance companies themselves how much to charge.
The main reason for the limited rises and cuts is the government’s decision to halve the discount for collective insurance policies from 10% to 5%. ‘Premiums had gone up to pay for the discount, but they can now go down because the discount has been reduced,’ health economist Wim Groot told the Volkskrant.
There is a two-month window at the end of every year during which policyholders can switch health insurance company.
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.
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