Some health insurers surprised with a small fall in the health insurance premium for next year, but many insurers have actually raised the premium. Together with halving the maximum group discount, this means a premium increase for many policyholders.

Peter Ruys from the Zorgkiezer comparison site notes that the differences between the cheapest and the most expensive insurance policies have never been greater.

The premium for the most expensive health insurance is next year a total of 492 euros higher than that of the cheapest calculated Zorgkiezer. There is also no basic insurance without voluntary deductible for less than 100 euros per month.

"In general, premiums have risen," says Bas Knopperts, insurance expert at comparator Independer. He also says that the government's forecast - which expected an increase of 3 euros a month - is quite correct.

Substantial premium increases at some insurers

Knopperts further explains that a lower health insurance premium for the basic insurance due to the reduction of the group discount does not always lead to a lower monthly amount.

"It seems nice: the premium goes down. But if the discount goes down even harder, then you are negative below the mark." He gives the example of someone who will pay 108.86 euros this year with a 10 percent discount. If the monthly premium falls by 1 euro, but the discount is reduced to 5 percent, that person will still lose 113.95 euros per month.

With some insurance policies, the premium increases are very substantial. In some cases the difference amounts to 11 percent. Often with the more expensive insurance policies there is also a group discount. For some people, a halving of the maximum collective discount means an increase in the monthly premium of up to 15 euros, Ruys calculates.

About two thirds of the insured benefit from a group discount. About 60 percent of Dutch people have never switched, Ruys notes. He suspects that these two groups are the same.

Insurers do get a discount, but no benefits

That maximum collective discount was lowered in 2018 by Minister Bruno Bruins (Medical Care). The discount was intended to pass on a purchasing advantage that an insurer could theoretically achieve for a group of insured persons. In practice, there was hardly any such an advantage.

In order to still offer that discount, insurers first increased the premium. "Because the insurer did not take advantage, but did have to give a discount, it led them to first have to raise prices and then give the discount," Ruys explains.

"If your employer got it right with the maximum discount, then you now have to pay the most extra. At the same time, you see those cheapest labels rising slightly again," says Ruys.

Insured persons can cancel their health insurance until the end of this year. If you cancel your existing insurance before 31 December, you can switch to a new insurer until 30 January 2020.