If you are already insured in the Netherlands, you may have gotten a reminder e-mail about the changes that the government is making when it comes to your health insurance. Each year, the Dutch government conducts a few changes in basic insurance which influences all insurers.
This year one of these changes is the price of compulsory excess; whereas last year it was €375, it will be raised to €385 in 2016. There are a few more changes that are mentioned by ZorgWijzer; the government has calculated that the monthly premiums will go up about €7,50 on average. The ‘basic’ health insurance will generally stay the same, but there are a few additions being made; hearing aids for children until the age of 18 are fully covered by your insurer, as well as treatment for lumbar hernia and Autologous Fat Transplantation (treatment for breast reconstruction). Additionally, medications which are prescribed by your doctor will be reimbursed to you but any over-the-counter medications (such as cough syrup) will not.
The struggle is real for Dutch hospitals
There have not only been changes in insurance, but hospitals are changing as well. Smaller establishments are either shutting down or clustering in order to keep their heads above water. Insurance companies are advising that when you have any sort of medical complaints on the weekends or in the evenings, go to a medical clinic rather than the emergency room, as a doctor will always be there on stand by and visits to a clinic will be fully covered by basic insurance. In most cases, this house doctor will be able to treat you ‘free of charge’ but will refer you to a hospital if necessary. A website has even been developed to evaluate when a visit to a doctor is really necessary.
The new year is coming up fast, and it’s always good to know in advance about any changes that the government will be putting into place. Remember to compare the rates offered by the many insurance services that are offered in the Netherlands, and what type of insurance is best for you.