Health insurance premiums expected to increase by €3 per month next year: report

Health insurance premiums in the Netherlands will increase slightly next year, by around 3 euros per month. A basic health insurance policy will cost nearly 40 euros more per year, the government will announce on Budget Day, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.

According to the government calculations, the average basic health insurance premium will cost 1,421 euros next year, 37 euros more than the current annual premium of 1,384 euros. The government's premium estimation is a guideline for the health insurers, who will determine their competitive rates themselves in the autumn.

The health insurance premium is increasing because the good economy is pushing wages and prices in the healthcare sector. Healthcare costs are also higher due to the aging population, better treatments becoming available, and because more medicines have been added to the package.

The premium increase remains very limited, because agreements were made with the most important sectors in healthcare to curb the increase in the number of treatments, AD's sources said. That deal will result in cost saving of 1.2 billion euros next year, according to the sources. The prices of medicines have been kept under control, due to the policy of giving priority to cheaper medicines. And Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care negotiated lower prices for expensive medicines with their manufacturers. This will result in around 400 million euros in saved costs, the newspaper writes.

The Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports refused to confirm the leaked figures to AD. Insurers responded carefully, but were not surprised by the increase in premiums.

"The calculation premium used by the Cabinet has always risen in recent years", DSW director Aad de Groot said to the newspaper. "With the current wage increases, an increase for next year is obvious. 60 percent of the healthcare costs are in employee salaries. So if they rise, the premium increases as well."

"We have just started looking at the premiums for next year", Christine Rompa of Zilveren Kruis said. "We did not expect a decrease, but the final premium also depends on whether the cabinet will come up with package measures. We don't know that now. Negotiations on expensive medicines can also play a role. We don't know much about that yet."

Menzis and VGZ told the newspaper that they are still looking at their premiums for next year.