Do you expect that your healthcare costs will be minimal and/or are you happy having only a limited number of hospitals to choose from? Then you can save a lot of money by taking out a budget health insurance policy. But if you don't read the fine print, you could also find yourself facing unexpectedly high costs. What do you need to know and what should you watch out for?
What exactly is a budget policy?
The budget policy or budget health insurance is an inexpensive type of basic health insurance. In fact, the low premiums are what sets this type of insurance apart. The main disadvantage of the budget policy is that, in some cases, you will only be able to receive treatment at a small number of hospitals in the Netherlands. The health insurance company contracts services from only a few medical centres at a competitive price. That could mean that you will have to spend a lot of time traveling or – if you consult a non-contracted care provider – that you will have to pay part of the bill yourself.
Advantages of a budget policy
The main advantage is the price. However, because this type of policy covers only a limited number of care options, many budget policyholders incur additional costs of almost € 300 annually. And remember, there is also the deductible of € 385 per year that you will have to pay on top of this.
Disadvantages of a budget policy
- Limited freedom of choice means that, in some cases, you will only be able to receive treatment at a limited number of hospitals in the Netherlands.
- Medication and medical aids and devices can often only be ordered online.
- You may only be able to contact your healthcare insurance company digitally.
- If you consult a non-contracted care provider, you will not receive full reimbursement of your costs.
Avoid paying extra
- Cheap health insurance is nice, but be careful about having to pay extra later on. Under some policies, you will only be reimbursed 75% of the cost if you go to a hospital that does not have a contract with your health insurer. You could easily end up paying hundreds or even thousands of euros.
- Has your general practitioner referred you to a psychologist or are you searching around for a physiotherapist? Then it is important to check in advance whether the care provider in question has a contract with your health insurer. Always ask for written confirmation of the contract so that you can avoid any hassle later.
- Although a healthcare institution or care provider may have a contract with your insurance company, that contract must also be valid for the type of health insurance that you have taken out. Many budget policies give you little choice when it comes to maternity care, certain aids and devices, and medication because the insurer has concluded contracts with only a limited number of care providers or suppliers. Be sure to check this in advance.
Do you already have a budget policy, or would you like to see what would and would not be covered if you were to take out a budget policy? Then be sure to check the coverage with your health insurance company and avoid paying high costs in the future.
Budget policies in 2019
- Studenten Goed Verzekerd: Basis Budget
- ZEKUR: Gewoon ZEKUR
- PolisZieZo: ZieZo Selectief
- Zilveren Kruis: Basis Budget
- Pro Life: Principe Polis Budget
Note: Maastricht UMC+ has only signed a contract with ZEKUR for the Gewoon ZEKUR policy.