Take out health insurance

Every year around November, policyholders receive a new offer from their health insurer. You can then decide to accept that offer or take out health insurance with another provider. Anyone looking for a new health insurance policy may benefit from the tips below.

First identify your own needs

Before comparing health insurance policies, you must first clarify what your personal wishes are. Based on this, a more targeted search can be made. Below are a number of points of interest that may be helpful.

Which basic insurance policies can I choose from?

With regard to basic insurance, we distinguish three main types:

  • the in-kind policy;
  • the refund policy;
  • a combination of both.

This subdivision has to do with the distinction between contracted and non-contracted care. Insurers can decide to enter into contracts with healthcare providers for all or for specific healthcare products, such as hospitals, pedicures specializing in diabetic foot, podiatrists, etc. As a patient, you then retain the free choice of healthcare provider, but if you consult a healthcare provider who does not have a contract with the insurer, you run the risk of having to pay part of the costs yourself. You will usually find a list of all contracted providers on the health insurer’s website.

Do I need to have additional insurance?

Additional insurance provides coverage for care that is not included in the basic package, such as alternative care. But one additional package is not the same as the other. Please inquire carefully about the contents of the various additional packages before making your choice. Many people do not consider additional insurance necessary because they believe that basic insurance provides enough care. Please note that an acceptance obligation may apply to the supplementary insurance, unlike the basic insurance! So inquire carefully whether the health insurer will accept you for the supplementary insurance of your choice. Sometimes insurers also apply a waiting period (care period) in this context.

Deductible or not?

  • In 2013, basic insurance has a mandatory deductible of €350. In 2012 this was still €220.
  • This means that the first €350 that you will incur in healthcare costs will be at your own expense, with a number of exceptions;
  • In addition to the mandatory deductible, one can voluntarily decide to take a higher deductible. This may be accompanied by a significant premium discount;
  • But anyone who thinks they need a lot of care should refrain from choosing a higher deductible.

What else may be important

In addition to the points mentioned above, you can also pay attention to the following when choosing a particular health insurance policy:

  • the internet offers numerous options to search for the lowest premium;
  • you may be eligible for special policies for target groups such as young people;
  • offers society an option to pay the mandatory deductible in installments, interesting for those who use a lot of care;
  • and of course, in addition to rates and contents of the packages, you must also consider the service aspect in your choice: does the method of invoicing appeal to you and will the company involved quickly reimburse costs incurred?

Could collective insurance be something for me?

Collective insurance involves a group of insured persons who opt for the same policy and enter into a collective contract with an insurer for that purpose. The health insurer can offer up to a 10 percent premium discount to the policyholders involved, which means that the costs are considerably cheaper. Collective insurance comes in many variants:

  • via the employer, often with premium deduction from the salary;
  • through patient organizations;
  • for trade union members;
  • through senior citizens’ associations;
  • through sports clubs.

If you belong to one of the target groups, please inquire within your organization whether a collective contract has been concluded.

Online health insurance cheaper

In 2013, there are a number of health insurers that only offer online policies. In 2012, D66 argued in the House of Representatives for the standard settlement of the healthcare policy by e-mail for 2014. But according to Minister Schippers, not every Dutch person is yet familiar enough with the new media to offer health insurance exclusively digitally. Large health insurers usually offer an internet policy that is approximately €10 cheaper per month than regular health insurance. The only difference with a regular policy is that everything is communicated via the internet.