First health insurance rates released: DSW up nearly 10 pct.

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The first health insurer announced its premium increase for 2017 to the Telegraaf on Tuesday. DSW is increasing its premiums from 98.75 euros to 108 euros per month - an increase of 9.4 percent, much higher than the 3.5 percent the government predicted on Budget Day.

According to the newspaper, DSW is always the first insurer to announce its premium for the next year. And thereby it sets the tone for the other insurers, who usually only announce the premiums in mid-November.

DSW cites the increasing use of expensive, innovative medications, expansion of the basic health insurance package and higher costs for insurance for district nursing, as major factors in the premium increase. Another reason is that health insurers' reserves are shrinking and they can give less back than in previous years.

DSW CEO Chris Oomen assures customers that the insurer's reserves are still higher than the required solvency. But DSW needs to maintain a buffer to absorb increases in the number of insured and higher care costs.

Last year the health insurers invested a total of 2 billion euros into premium cushioning. The government was counting on that again, hence the fact that their premium increase prediction was so much lower. But other insurers already announce that they can't put as much into premium cushioning as last yer.

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