Health Insurance

Old Jan 9th 2018, 11:17 pm
  #1  
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Default Health Insurance

Before I start, I'm sorry that I'm making a new topic of every single aspect of my new life here lol but I keep receiving a lot of confusing information.

I have finally opened a bank account so I guess the other thing on the to-do list is a health insurance, and I have some questions:

Does it need to be back-dated to my date of registration? I did a few of those comparison things and they only offer my policy to start from 1st Jan, but I received my BSN on the last week of December. Is it even possible to pay for something last year? Could I get fined for working for a month uninsured? I don't want to get fined...

I have looked at this website, https://www.zorgverzekeringslijn.nl/coming-from-abroad/ and this says I have 3 months to purchase one after arriving here but there's no mention of backdating so that must mean that I'm OK, fine-wise?

I also find the excess quite a lot too to be honest. I understand the GP doesn't cost, but if the ambulance comes for me, I'll be billed, up to the excess? And if the GP refers me to see somebody for a blood test, and stuff like that, those too? I find it a bit much, for paying a lot of money already through the monthly premiums. Not that I plan to get sick while I'm here, but who does, it can happen to anyone, not to mention falling off a bike and that....

From a first glance there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the insurers so I'll go with the one my employer has a contract with but if you have any advice or tips on it I'll be grateful. (I'm just so fed up to the back teeth of losing money already and I'm scared of the prospect of it continuing! How do the Dutch do it? I don't understand lol, they don't live on loans and credit like the British but everything costs so much here. How can they afford?)
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Old Jan 10th 2018, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance

Just open a health insurance policy as of 1st January and no-one will question it. I'm sure you won't get fined for it. I was here for 6 months before I had health insurance, even with a BSN, though I wasn't working.

The €385 eigen risico, excess, is something you will pay for pretty much anything outside of a GP visit up to €385, then you don't pay any more. Its the same across all insurers, except that with some you can increase this up to a much higher amount in return for lower monthly premiums.

In reality there isn't a lot of difference between insurers. some allow free choice of where you can get treatment, and some restrict you to certain hospitals or providers.
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Old Jan 10th 2018, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance

Thanks, yeah the system itself doesn't seem very complicated though I just hope I'm still on the legal side of things if I purchase one this weekend and the policy starts from this month and not the previous one.

Can you buy them online by the way? It's not a big hassle is it? Like, you don't need appointments etc, do you?

" I'm sure you won't get fined for it. " - Thanks, but that doesn't sound very convincing ...but I hope you're right!
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Old Jan 11th 2018, 8:33 am
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Its all purchased online!
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Old Jan 11th 2018, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Health Insurance

Online is fine. There are some 'comparison' websites where you can arrange it all, such as independer.nl or zorgkiezer.nl (use google translate, they rarely cater for English).

No medical checks are needed as they can't refuse you due to pre-existing conditions (it's not like the USA). It's worth using google translate to check the small print.

As mentioned, you can get a cheaper monthly rate for raising your eigen risico, but you need to have the 895 euros ready in the case that you have an accident or sudden illness that requires a hospital stay! Also as mentioned, some of the cheaper policies restrict which hospitals or clinics they will deal with (you might have to pay around 20% of the bill if they aren't contracted with your insurer), some have online-only prescriptions that you can't pick up from a chemist but are delivered, and some work on a you-pay-first-we-refund-later basis. Be very careful which one you go for: ensure they settle the bills directly with the healthcare provider.

I agree that you're unlikely to get a fine, there was a change a few years ago to make it more user-friendly, and perhaps a realisation that it wasn't always possible to have it from day one for reasons such as you experienced (with a bank account).

Be aware that this doesn't cover the cost of your medication in most situations (unless you're in hospital) and you will pay the cost price at the chemists. Dental cover is extra, and some policies cover specs, some don't.
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Old Jan 13th 2018, 11:12 am
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Default Re: Health Insurance

Brilliant advice, thanks! I didn't realise there were so many things to consider.
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