Almost 1.5 million people switched health insurers during the six-week changeover period, as inflation and higher premiums pushed people into cheaper deals, news website Nu.nl said on Thursday.
The figures are slightly higher than those published by healthcare insurance association Zorgverzekering Nederland last month. The average basic insurance package costs between €3.75 and €9.30 a month extra this year.
CZ and ASR made the most gains, while Zilveren Kruis lost more customers, Nu.nl said. CZ, which includes Ohra and Nationale-Nederlanden, added 420,000 new clients and now has 4.1 million.
ASR, which lost a lot of clients in 2021 added 200,000 and smaller insurer DSW grew by 36,000 to 792,000. ‘That was a surprise to us,’ DSW director Aad de Groot said. ‘We don’t offer a budget policy or special discounts.’
By contrast market leader Zilveren Kruis, which includes De Friesland, Interpolis and FBTO, lost 190,000 clients and now has 4.9 million. This was largely due to the decision to stop one particular budget policy which only had contracts with a limited number of hospitals, Nu.nl said.
Menzis, the third of the big four, lost 170,000 clients and now has almost two million while VGZ (Univé, Zekur) saw 132,000 clients move to a new insurer and now has almost four million customers.
Everyone in the Netherlands is required to take out basic health insurance cover, known as the basispakket, the contents of which are specified by law. This year contraceptive pills for women under 21 were added to the basic package, while Vitamin D pills were taken out.
The excess charge or eigen risico is set at €385 a year, but people can raise it to as much as €885 in order to cut their monthly premiums.
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