Most Dutch households will have a bit more to spend this year than in 2018, despite higher energy bills, higher health insurance premiums and higher VAT, according to budget institute Nibud's latest purchasing power calculations. Most households will have between a few euros and 131 euros extra left over each month, NU.nl reports.
Dozens of new laws, rules, and regulations went into effect in the Netherlands at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday. Among them, a cut to the 30-percent ruling, new income tax credits, mortgage caps, a sales tax increase, expanded childcare subsides, and more rights for cities to seize homes related to the illegal drugs trade.
The MC Slotervaart hospital in Amsterdam and the MC IJsselmeer hospitals in Lelystad and surroundings filed for deferment of payment. Health insurer Zilveren Kruis and most other health insurers stopped financing for the hospitals. "Bankruptcy may be inevitable", a spokesperson said, NU.nl reports.
The employees and patients of both hospitals will be informed of the current situation on Tuesday. Patient care is guaranteed. "This is a statutory task for health insurers. Patients currently treated in both hospitals can rely on adequate care", the spokesperson said to the newspaper.
People in the Netherlands can expect to pay more on their health insurance next year. The government is expecting an average annual health insurance premium of 1,432 euros for next year, 124 euros more expensive than this year, sources in The Hague confirmed to NOS.
The healthcare deductible will remain stable at 385 euros. Coalition parties VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie agreed during formation negotiations that this amount will stay frozen for the duration of the Rutte III government period.
Two of the four large health insurers warned that it is no longer possible for them to keep health care premiums equal, or increase them only slightly. Consumers may face a big premium increase next year, according to insurers CZ and Achmea, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch Health Council wants the government to make HIV prevention pill Prep available to population groups that are at higher risk of being infected by the virus, such as homosexual men. According to the Health Council, the pill is medically- and cost effective and should be considered "essential care" for high risk groups, NOS reports.
The Health Council looked into Prep at the request of former Health Minister Edith Schippers.
Health insurers no longer make enough money, or even suffer losses, from supplemental health insurance policies, according to Dutch central bank DNB. Insurers may stop offering these supplemental policies in the future, which will result in higher healthcare costs for Dutch consumers, NOS reports.
The vast majority of Dutch consumers can save a lot of money on their basic health insurance policy, according to a study by the Netherlands authority on consumers and markets ACM and the Dutch healthcare authority NZa, NU.nl reports.
Last year three quarters of Dutch were on a basic health insurance policy for which there was a cheaper, comparable alternative. On average, Dutch pay about 100 euros per year too much for their basic health insurance.
Almost all health insurers in the Netherlands have so-called "clone policies" among their offer, consumers' association Consumentenbond warns. These are policies from the same provider that have different names, but only actually differ in price. That's not allowed in the Netherlands, but insurers get away with it by offering these policies through subsidiaries or intermediaries, according to the association, RTL Nieuws reports.
Health insurance firm CZ has announced a monthly premium rate hike of three percent for the price of compulsory basic health insurance package. The rate hike will take effect from January.
The bump in CZ rates means Netherlands residents will pay 40 euros more for the year, compared to 2017 rates. The provider blames the rise on growing health care costs, saying that the entire increase was not passed on to the consumer, and that the company will have to tap 221 million euros from its own pocket to cover the shortfall.
People with eye disorders could face blindness due to health insurance budget cuts on expensive treatments, according to interest organizations like the Eye Fund. The interest groups are referring specifically to eye injections used to treat people with retinal abnormalities, ANP reports.
The number of sick or injured Dutch removed from cruise ships and taken to hospital, increased sharply over the past years, according to the Eurocross Alarm Center. The alarm center expects that by the end of the year, this number will be around 135 - a 30 percent increase compared to two years ago. This is especially remarkable as the number of Dutch opting for a holiday on a cruise ship decreased over the past years, NOS reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer voted on Tuesday for an emergency legislative proposal to freeze the amount of healthcare own-risk deductibles at 385 euros next year. The Eerste Kamer also voted in the bill later on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie decided not to increase healthcare own-risk deductibles next year, government formation mediator Gerrit Zalm announced in a letter sent at the insistence of the Tweede Kamer. To compensate for that, health insurance premiums will increase by an extra 10 euros per year, RTL Nieuws reports.
The health insurance premium and mandatory own risk contribution will increase further in the coming years, newspaper Telegraaf and news wire ANP report based on anonymous sources.
Achmea is preparing for an increase in health insurance premiums next year, CEO Willem van Duin hinted at while discussing the insurer's half-year figures on Thursday, ANP reports.
"In recent years, health insurers limited the price increase buy using our reserves. That is obviously not a sustainable situation", the CEO of the Netherlands' largest insurer said. Last year Achmea reserved an amount of over 430 million euros to compensate for premiums that weren't covering costs.
Health insurance will be more expensive in the Netherlands next year due to an unexpected setback, Chris Oomen, CEO of insurer DSW, said to Radio 1 Journaal on Friday morning. Due to a deficit of 400 million euros, premiums will increase by an average of 30 euros per year, ANP reports.
"Income from the health insurance fund fell out lower in 2016. That resulted in a deficit of 400 million euros", Oomen said. "This will have to be compensated for in the premiums. Because our reserves are decreasing because of this and therefore we can not keep our premiums low."
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.
The police arrested a 68-year-old man in Noord-Brabant on suspicion of selling fake hospital bills in Thailand, the Dutch Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday. The Prosecutor believes that the fraud committed with these fake invoices amounts to nearly 130 thousand euros, ANP reports.
The suspect sold fake hospital bills to Dutch tourists visiting Thailand. The bills shows charges for admittance to a hospital in Bangkok. When returning to the Netherlands, the Dutch tourists then submitted the bills to their health insurers for compensation.
Annet Schriemer (34) suffers from distasis recti, which basically means that five years after the birth of her last child, she still looks very pregnant. Her only way out is a tummy tuck, but her health insurer will not cover it, the Telegraaf reports.
Health insurer CZ is increasing the premiums for its basic health insurance by 7.5 percent, or 7.90 euros. The total basic health insurance premium for 2017 amounts to 112.85 euros, the insurer annoucned on Wednesday, ANP reports.
According to CZ, the premium comes in below cost. The insurer expects to spend an average of 125.20 euros per insured person next year. CZ will make up the difference from its own reserves, for which CZ put aside 420 million euros. That is 40 percent of the insurer's reserves - CZ's weallth minus the financial buffeer it has to keep according to law.
Dutch parliamentarians are shocked and outraged by the high premium increase health insurer DSW announced on Monday. The insurer announced an increase of 9.4 percent, much higher than the 3.5 percent the Ministry of Health predicted on Budget Day.
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.
Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health believes the own risk healthcare deductibles of at least 385 euros per year are "quite justifiable", she said in NRC on Monday. According to her, parties speaking out against the deductibles are "not giving a fair representation of the situation."