Comparing Dutch health insurance for 2019
Yup, it’s that time of year again. Throughout the whole of December, up until the last day of 2019, you can start comparing Dutch health insurance and then choose whether you want to switch. This will be the only time that you can change it for a whole year, so make sure that you take a look at what’s out there when it comes to health insurance in the Netherlands. If you haven’t a damn clue what we’re going on about, then check our health insurance guide first.
We bring you this article together with Zorgwijzer, to give you all the information you need when comparing health insurance companies in the Netherlands (and because they know more than we do 😉 )
Here are 7 things to know when comparing Dutch health insurance in 2019
1. Check your hospital coverage (this is really important!)
The cheaper the insurer, the less hospital coverage usually. What does this mean though? This means that only some hospitals will accept you for your treatments and if you go to a hospital not on the list, then you will have to pay for that treatment yourself. If your local hospital is on the list, then that’s great, but if you were outside of your area and needed the treatment, then you’d have to ensure that you can easily get to a hospital that is on the list.
For this reason, when comparing Dutch health insurance, make sure that you choose this option carefully. Sometimes it really doesn’t cost much more for full coverage, so it’s worth looking into.
2. You can change your deductible excess to suit your needs
The cheapest deductible here in the Netherlands is €385, but there is actually nothing stopping you from changing that deductible. You can actually get one as high as €885, which basically translates to your monthly health insurance cost sitting at around €20 cheaper. If you’re healthy and otherwise never go to the hospital, it may be worth checking out (providing you have that money just in case you get into an accident). Especially if you’re young, healthy and strapped for cash it’s worth thinking through.
You have a choice of a deductible at €385; €485; €585; €685; €785 and €885. Each of these will vary the cost of your monthly (or yearly) bill. Note: Make sure that you can afford the deductible that you pick! P.S. If you’re thinking about doing this because you’re struggling with money, then the Dutch government are here to help with healthcare allowances.
Your face when I was throwing all those numbers out about comparing Dutch health insurance
3. The cheapest insurer may not necessarily be the best one for you
It’s always tempting when using comparison sites to go for the cheapest thing out there and just buy now. I’m certainly guilty of the *cheapest first* option. 😉 However, this is not necessarily the best way to do it, especially when it comes to health insurance. Sometimes it may cost an extra few euros to be covered extensively or even cover abroad and that’s definitely worth it. Don’t just go for the cheapest automatically, look at which is the best deal and what will suit you best. Comparing Dutch health insurance companies also isn’t something you should do at the very latest moment on New Year’s Eve (guilty as well).
You will find that if you just pick without looking into it, then along the line it may actually end up costing you more if you fall ill.
4. Paying per year is cheaper than per month (overall)
You can opt to pay your health insurance yearly. Generally, people pay monthly to stagger the cost, but if you have the money sitting in your account, it may be worth just getting it over and done with and all paid for. This means that you won’t have to worry about any payments for a year and also it will save you a bit of money in the end too! (Yearly payments generally end up cheaper than monthly ones overall).
Not all insurers and sites over this option I’ve noticed, therefore if this is what you’re after, then Zorgwijzer offers this on their comparison site. When browsing for your next insurer, just look on the left-hand sidebar and you’ll find the option to pay yearly. Easy!
5. You can get cover that insures you outside of the Netherlands
If you are looking to go abroad or travel across the border often, it’s worth having this covered by your insurer in case something happens. You can opt-in for Europe cover or worldwide cover. Many insurers have Europe cover already in their plans (you receive an EHIC card or you order one for free through your insurer). This is why it’s worth looking into their policy to see if it is covered.
If you opt-in this means that if you have an accident abroad your insurance will cover the costs and so you won’t have to worry about the high bill (depending on where you are, some hospital bills would literally cripple you)! So if you’re a traveller, PLEASE for the love of god look into this. With Zorgwijzer this is made easy – in the left-hand sidebar, just select what medical cover you’re after (basic, Europe, world cover).
6. Make sure to check that you are covered for specific treatments (e.g. dentist)
When you search for a health insurer, initially what will show up is the compulsory basic cover. This covers you for emergency treatment (minus the deductible), basic mental healthcare, (sometimes) emergency dental care and so on. If you are pregnant, need regular dental check-ups or have a complex mental health condition, these are the sort of situations where you would need an ‘add-on.’
When you go on a comparison site, there will be an option to tick these options if you need more cover – make sure that you have done this! It also lets you know just HOW much is covered. So if you want to make it a bit cheaper, you can choose what percentage they pay for it. If you’re in poor health, it is definitely worth opting for them to pay most of your costs. Or for example, if you’re into fierljeppen in Friesland, you want to get some ‘aanvullende verzekering’ for those physiotherapy sessions you’re going to need because fierljeppen is hella crazy.
7. Zorgwijzer is the only comparison site in English
Oh, the daily struggles if your Dutch isn’t up to scratch. In normal day to day life, it’s okay, but when it comes to important stuff like your health insurance, you need to be sure that you’ve done it right. Google translate is not always your friend either, sometimes it just makes no sense. True story – I once received an important letter from the Gemeente with a sentence that translated badly to “you’re going to die.” That’s certainly not a translation you’d want when organising your health insurance in the Netherlands…
Well, this is where Zorgwijzer comes in. They understood the struggles and have an English comparison site for us (also because just pronouncing ‘zorgverzekering vergelijken’ is impossible for a non-native Dutch speaker). This means that you can sort your own health insurance out, without having to bug that Dutch friend with personal health matters. The site is easy to use and easy to understand too. It essentially makes everything that we’ve just covered 10 times easier.
So there you have it – 7 things to know before you hop on that comparison site and sort out your insurer.
Do you have any more tips when comparing Dutch health insurance? Let us know in the comments!