Rotterdam to drastically reduce health insurance costs for many residents

An electronic stethoscope
An electronic stethoscope. Stethoscopes / Wikimedia Commons

Rotterdam wants to offer all its residents a health insurance policy with a deductible of only 50 euros. The rest of the legally set healthcare deductible is already included in the slightly higher than normal monthly premium, but lowered thanks to a group discount from the insurer, the Volkskrant reports.

Since 2013 Rotterdam has offered its own health insurance policy for residents with a low income - up to 130 percent of welfare level. The policy is with insurer VGZ, which won the municipality's tender. About 55 thousand Rotterdam residents make use of the policy, which is especially popular with people with chronic illnesses or disabilities thanks to the lower deductibles. 

Other large cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven also offer a municipal health insurance policy for people with low incomes. Here too most of the deductible is included in a slightly higher premium, but partly offset by a group discount. 

Rotterdam will now be the first city to find out whether insurers will be willing to offer this type of policy to all residents, no matter their income level. "We see that the insurance policy is a great success and is highly valued", a spokesperson for Rotterdam alderman Hugo de Jonge said to the Volkskrant. "But in recent years we've also seen that healthcare costs rose sharply for the slightly higher income group. They aren't entitled to healthcare discounts."

That's why Rotterdam wants to offer the municipal policy to all its residents. The city will soon start a tender process and hopes to implement the expansion on January 1st, 2019.

The current monthly premium for Rotterdam's health insurance policy is 160 euros. Those who have a social assistance level income also get a few euros discount from the municipality. The Rotterdam policy also offers a supplementary dental insurance. If you expect a lot of medical expenses, the Rotterdam policy works out cheaper. But those who do not expect high medical expenses may be better of with another health insurer. 

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