Why it is not wise for most insured persons to increase the tolerance rate
The legal deduction of €385 is seen as a penalty for illness. In the Health Insurance Myths section, health journalist Tijn Elferink writes weekly about health insurance. Today: By voluntarily increasing your legally required deductible, you can save hundreds of euros, but is that wise?
We will pay more for energy, groceries and health care. The only thing that does not increase is the amount that is legally required for the deduction of 385 euros. Is this good news? The Dutch Patients Association does not think so and would prefer to see the mandatory reduction. A majority of House members also fear that people will avoid health care for financial reasons.
Excluding general practitioners and maternity care, the Dutch have to pay the first €385 of healthcare costs themselves. The fact that this threshold is sensitive is not new. The intention was once to increase the deductible in line with health care costs. But in the coalition agreement, the government actually pulled out of pocket to freeze the deduction: €223 million for 2023 and even nearly €500 million for each of the following years.
Cost saving method
So is freezing good news? No, says Marco Farkeviser, professor of market regulation in health care at the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam. By keeping the deductible the same, the healthcare premium goes up additionally. An approximate calculation shows that next year it will be 15.50 euros per person per year. This represents more than 11 percent of the total premium increase.
Your contribution to healthcare costs is meant to make people think twice before using healthcare
According to Farkeviser, the solidarity of the system is indisputable. Eliminating deductibles means that more costs are shifted from the individual (the insured) to the collective (all the insured). However, the deductible is not just a matter of cost-sharing; It is also a way to cut costs.
“In Belgium, they don’t ask for an increase in tolerance for nothing,” says Tom Mainz of the Patients Union. “Your contribution to health care costs is intended to make people think twice before using health care.”
And that’s not how it works according to Elder Gold’s party. “If you have a chronic illness, you don’t choose to use health care unnecessarily,” says party leader Lian Din Han. The victims are the chronically ill. They pay the first €385 in sponsorship annually. Other parties in the House also believe this is a fine for illness.
“Fortunately, most health insurance companies offer payment plans for paying deductibles in premiums at the beginning of the insurance year,” says Ben Waldring of Poliswijzer.com. Comparison sites have become more concerned this year about increased voluntary tolerance.
If people increase their discount just because they urgently need to save money, this is often bad advice
The legally required deductible of €385 per year can be increased to a maximum of €885. This is offset by an attractive premium discount that, according to Peter Reuss of Zorgkiezer.nl, can reach 300 euros. This seems like a good savings in these already expensive times. According to Zorgkiezer.nl and Independer, it doesn’t make sense for more people to choose it. Poliswijzer does not believe. People go for security and don’t want unexpected costs.
Be careful with increasing discounts
Because of these costs, experts warn to be careful about increasing your deductible: Only do so if you can afford any health care costs. “If people increase their discount just because they need to save money right away, that’s often bad advice,” Royce says. “People on low incomes often don’t own and don’t keep any money on hand. If you nonetheless have high health care costs, you often have to pay it off in a short time.”
Don’t you have a reserve of 885 euros? Then the premium feature of a maximum of 300 euros at the beginning of the year can cost you dearly. Certainly if 885 euros is the minimum and becomes a reason to avoid health care. Just like the compulsory deduction for people without a reserve of €385.
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