CZ announces premium

CZ’s most popular general insurance policy, the ‘Zorg-op-maatpolis’, will cost €134,50 per month next year, an increase of €4,90. Increasing healthcare costs are the reason for the premium increase. An even greater increase has been avoided by refunding the surplus amount from the Dutch national catastrophe scheme for the coronavirus pandemic.

A higher premium is never a pleasant message to have to get across, something that CZ’s chair of the board Joep de Groot knows only too well. “Calculating the premium was a tricky task this year. There are a lot of uncertainties and the pandemic isn’t over yet. The increasing number of infections is placing great demands on the healthcare sector yet again and really asking a lot of healthcare workers. But it’s also putting a great strain on patients who may again see their scheduled operations postponed. It’s highly uncertain what’s going to happen next and what the impact on the healthcare sector will be.”

Premium cushioned through refund of coronavirus costs surplus

The increase in the health insurance premium is partly being cushioned by refunding the surplus amount from the Dutch national catastrophe scheme for the coronavirus pandemic. This government scheme reimburses part of the costs health insurers incur due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Last year, the costs of regular healthcare ended up lower because a lot of healthcare was postponed. CZ is using the leftover amount to lower the premium for its customers,” explains De Groot. This leftover amount totals over €200 million.

Rising healthcare costs

Healthcare costs are rising year on year, not only in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but also due to population ageing and increasing prices of things like medicines and higher salaries for healthcare workers. Every increase in the healthcare costs ultimately has to be paid for by all insured parties through their premiums.

“We have an outstanding healthcare system that delivers high quality and is widely accessible to all. More and more treatment options are becoming available all the time, giving patients perspective. The flip side is increasing pressure on healthcare workers and increasing healthcare costs that drive up the premiums even higher, meaning that some people literally can’t afford them. This also creates bottlenecks for society, because money that is pumped into healthcare cannot be invested in education, housing or climate change, despite these areas also having a highly significant impact on our health. And improving health is the best way to keep healthcare affordable and accessible,” says De Groot.

There’s more to health than healthcare

The amount of healthcare needed is increasing annually and putting more and more pressure on healthcare workers. It is becoming increasingly clear that there will soon not be enough workers to meet demand if action is not taken. According to De Groot, it is crucial for us to take a broader look at what contributes the most to people’s well-being and quality of life if we want healthcare to stay effective, affordable and accessible to all. “Considering more explicitly what is really important to you helps you come up with a better solution.” CZ is making every effort to bring healthcare into line with this idea, through initiatives such as ‘Samen Belissen’ (Deciding Together) and using digital resources to empower patients to manage their own situations.

“There’s more to health than healthcare; quality of life is important too,” emphasises De Groot. “A personalised approach to tackling medical problems creates so much added value. What’s more, we are all fortunately starting to realise that health prospects have a much greater correlation with long-term, social problems such as unemployment, poverty and loneliness than we previously thought. The most appropriate solution isn’t always to be found in the healthcare sector. That’s why CZ works together with GPs and other parties to change the dialogue so it doesn’t focus purely on the medical diagnosis.”

CZ groep

CZ is a not-for-profit mutual insurance association. With over 3.7 million insured parties, CZ groep is the third largest Dutch health insurer. CZ groep works hard every day to improve healthcare in the Netherlands, and to keep it affordable and accessible to everyone who needs it. As of 1 January 2009, CZ groep also administers health insurance activities for the Nationale-Nederlanden and OHRA labels.

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