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Health care insurance, an evergrowing expense

Iris Veldman
Iris Veldman is a second year Economics and Business Economics student (EBE) who recently joined the Asset|Blog Committee.

Last Monday was the deadline day for health insurers to announce their insurance rates for the upcoming year. On average, the increase in insurance rate is almost 6%. This is for the basic insurances, if you want to have more freedom of healthcare choice, the rates go up a little more than the 6%. In the annual budget the cabinet predicted how much the premiums for health insurance would increase, which would result in an increase of 10.33 euros per month. This would be a total of almost 124 euros a year.  Therefore, the actual increase is lower than the predicted increase. In this article, I will discuss the main factors that cause the health insurance premium to rise.

The first factor is the increase in the wages of health care providers. The government has calculated that more than a third of the increase in the health insurance premium is due to the increase in wages for health care staff. The reason for the increase in wages is the recovery of our economy. There is also an increase in the number of patients. The total number of people grows. People become older and therefore they will have health problems more often.

The second factor is the increase in the cost of new medicines and treatments. Deceases that couldn’t be cured in the past can be cured now. However, there is a big price tag on these treatments. Not only new medicines and treatments become more expensive. Every medicine or treatment becomes more expensive.

The third factor is that last year, the cabinet overestimated the insurance premium and therefore the contribution by pensioners, entrepreneurs and employers was overestimated. To balance it out, the insurance premium must rise next year.

The final factor of the increase also has to do with the cabinet. Namely, that the cabinet wants to keep the deductible part of the insurance premium the same as it used to be. This is where you can choose a deductible of 385 to 885 euros a year. This means that if you have a 385 euros deductible and you get a 400 euro medical bill, you have to pay 385 euros yourself and the insurer will pay out 15 euros. This is in total over the whole year, so if you get another bill, the insurer will pay that bill in full.

Given these reasons, the most influence comes from the fact that the prices for health care go up, in the personnel as well as in the medicines and treatments. And as long as our economy is doing well, these will only increase more, which leads to a higher health insurance premium over the next couple of years.



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