Monday 20 September 2021

Health insurance premiums set to rise as excess charge is frozen

The excess charge will be frozen at €385 in 2022. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Health insurance premiums are expected to rise next year after MPs froze the excess charge (‘eigen risico’) for the sixth year running.

MPs universally backed a motion by Socialist (SP) MP Peter Kwint in June calling for the current rate of €385 to be maintained next year.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge confirmed on Monday that the law would be amended in line with MPs’ wishes. Without the minister’s intervention the deductible charge would have gone up by around €10 to reflect the higher overall cost of insurance.

Several parties want to reduce or abolish the charge, which was last raised in 2016 from €375, having risen steeply from €170 in 2011. The SP and PVV campaigned at the last election to scrap it as ‘a fine for being sick’. Forum voor Democratie (FvD) proposed reducing it to €200, while Labour (PvdA) said it should be cut by 50%.

The right-wing VVD and orthodox Christian SGP were the only parties to defend the existing system and rate, while parties such as D66, CDA and CU wanted to reform the mechanism, for example by charging a smaller fee per treatment up to a maximum of €385.

Insurers begin setting their rates for next year at the end of September, with DSW usually the first to go public. People have a one-month window from December 1 to change their insurer for next year.

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