Maintaining your physical health and wellbeing as an expat is often one of the most pertinent aspects of financial planning abroad. Without the NHS to fall back on for care, making sure you’ve got adequate health insurance in place is an essential part of your preparation when moving overseas.
Healthcare Insurance in Netherlands
If you’re an expat who has moved to live and work in the Netherlands, purchasing Dutch health insurance is required by law and must be done within four months of registering at your local city hall.
You’re only legally required to buy a basic policy (basisverzekering), which will provide a good deal of cover, including consultations and treatments with GPs, hospital stays, surgery, psychological healthcare, and dental care for under 18s.
There are also more expensive, comprehensive policies (aanvullende verzekering) which cover many additional health services, such as dental care for adults, vaccinations, glasses and contact lenses, and cosmetic surgery. These policies will also give you more freedom in terms of choosing your healthcare provider, whereas basic policies tend to limit your options.
Whichever type of policy you opt for, the price of the premium should be worth it because the Netherlands is famed for its high-quality healthcare system.
You can find further guidance on healthcare in the Netherlands and finding the right doctor in our blog.
Rising costs for expats and locals alike
Two of the largest health insurers in the Netherlands, CZ and Achmea, have warned that they expect health insurance premiums to increase in 2019. Achmea and CZ have shares of 30.4% and 21.1% in the Netherlands’ health insurance market respectively.
CZ recently published an annual report stating that next year it will have to increase the cost of premiums for its custom care policy (Zorg-op-maatpolis) by twice as much as the 3% that it rose this year. This means the policy is expected to reach €123.25 per month (currently €116.25 per month).
There are two factors behind the rising prices. Firstly, the ageing population will need more and more care, which comes at a cost, and, secondly, the financial reserves used by insurers to keep the costs of premiums low are running out.
Insurers have to take money from these reserves to allow them to offer their customers premiums below cost price. For instance, this year CZ used €259 million of their reserve to keep premiums €6 below the cost price.
With such large sums being taken from financial reserves, the system has become too costly to sustain. Both Achmea and CZ reported losses in 2017 (€175 million and €140 million respectively), and now they can no longer afford to sell premiums at reduced prices.
Director of Achmea, Willem van Duin, told Dutch financial newspaper Financieele Dagblad that his company will not be able to use the premium subsidy to reduce costs any longer.
According to IamExpat, an online resource for expats in the Netherlands, ‘own risk’ and ‘basic package’ costs for 2019 will be announced on Prince’s Day – September 18 – and the monthly premium costs will be revealed in November.
Until then, the precise cost of your Dutch health insurance premiums in 2019 will remain uncertain, but it would be wise to prepare yourself for the increase and factor this into your budget.
Finding the right insurance and pension products for expats
Blacktower’s financial advisers are based in the Rijswijk, near The Hague, and all have the necessary expertise to help you with wealth management as well as your insurance and expat retirement planning in the Netherlands.
If you want to make your money work for you, so you can be prepared for the increase in health insurance premiums and whatever else the future holds, please don’t hesitate to contact Blacktower.