health as it happens

Last chance to switch health insurance; Half want discount based on lifestyle - NL Times

Friday, December 31, 2021 - 09:03

New Year's Eve has arrived, the last day residents of the Netherlands can cancel their current health insurance. Those looking for a new provider can then make their final decision in January. Health care premiums expected to be on average about 4 euros more expensive per month.

About 47 percent of people in the Netherlands said they would be willing to provide more information about their lifestyle if it meant they could receive a discount on their health insurance costs, according to an analysis by Pricewise. Roughly 48 percent were opposed to the idea, mainly out of privacy concerns. The comparison website said 51 percent of younger people are more in favor of such a proposal. Only about 41 percent of older people joined them.

A year ago, approximately 1.1 million people switched to another health insurer, roughly the same as the year before. That is equivalent to about 6.2 percent of insured people. According to Zorgverzekeraars Nederland, which released the figures at the time, many more people were still learning about the range of health insurance policies, possibly because of coronavirus.

Femke Koning of expects that slightly fewer people will choose to increase their deductible this year, which carries the advantage of lowering the monthly premium. "I expect a decrease in particular due to coronavirus. If you end up in the hospital with coronavirus, a hospital visit is subject to the additional payment. Anyone who opts for an increased deductible will pay more. I think that people will be more careful with this during the pandemic."

Comparison site says it is now "extremely busy" with health insurers and comparison sites. "This year is characterized by fierce competition between health insurers for customers’ preferences. Those switching often opt for a price fighter." According to ZorgKiezer, there are significant price differences.

"The cheapest budget policy will be almost 535 euros cheaper for all of next year than the most expensive basic insurance with free choice of care."

Reporting by ANP.