Comparing health insurance companies is not as difficult as you might think. But you can make it very difficult for yourself. You can no longer see the wood for the trees through the policy maze. You’ll miss a signpost in the policy jungle, so to speak. And you won’t dare to change your health insurance company. It’s a shame, because doing nothing will cost you money. Curious to know how I found my way out of the jungle?
Fiscal policy: nettle or rose?
Fortunately, there are also people who have no trouble finding the health insurance that suits them best. In 2015, 9% of the population changed health insurance 2 or 3 times and 1% already changed 4 times. I’m not claiming that the health insurance market is simple. Once upon a time, I too entered the “health insurance forest”. I also found it to be a political jungle. But like in a real forest, I didn’t let the dark places and the many trees scare me and went to find the beautiful flowers in this forest. And that’s how I came to see a rose and not a nettle in fiscal policy. Over the years, I’ve learned to compare health insurance better, so I’m able to find the health insurance that’s right for me much faster. Now I’m more likely to make a decision. Because that’s what it’s all about. Dare to make the change without being afraid that it will not go well.
Step-by-step plan for choosing health insurance
When I consider choosing health insurance, four elements are very important to me:
Do I need additional insurance?
I looked at it closely once and still benefit from it. Now that I know what I’m looking for, I can compare well and make a conscious choice.
1. Which basic insurance suits me best?
I have found that a “basic in-kind insurance” suits me better than a “reimbursement policy”. Why ? Because I like the fact that the bill goes directly to the insurer. The fact that I can then see fewer healthcare providers is irrelevant to me. Even if the insurer only authorizes me to consult 5 care providers to be able to benefit from a full refund, as is the case with certain budget policies. As long as these 5 care providers are mine, it’s not a problem at all.
I also learned that it is tempting to go for a high deductible in order to save a lot of money per month. But for me, that doesn’t make up for the big downside. That you suddenly have to pay a large amount when things are not going well. Personally, I find this risk too great and I will never take a higher voluntary deductible for this reason.
2. Do I need additional insurance?
I only take out additional insurance if it is really necessary. The trick is to calculate how much premium you would pay per year. Of course, I’m not going to pay 300 euros in premiums if I only need glasses, which cost 200 euros. If your child needs braces, that’s another story. An average brace costs around 2000 euros. In this case, it makes sense to take out additional dental insurance. Choose a health insurance company that does not have additional eligibility requirements and does not impose a waiting period before you are reimbursed.
It is very important to check whether your healthcare provider is approved by the health insurer. If you go to a care provider who does not have a contract with the health insurer, you are entitled to reimbursement up to a maximum amount. In this case, you will be reimbursed up to a maximum amount. The reimbursement percentage depends on the type of care you receive. If your healthcare provider has made arrangements with the health insurer, you will receive full reimbursement.
Make a comparison every year
Every year I do the exact same thing to compare all available health insurance policies with my current policy. And up until now, there’s always been one that was just a little bit cheaper or had better coverage than mine. Or I discovered the additional services of a health insurance company. Some health insurance companies offer additional benefits because there is no deductible for certain treatments or medications. If you need to undergo such treatment, but do not want to pay the deductible, this is useful information.
Finally, some personal advice
- Don’t let the many policies drive you crazy. Ultimately, they can be narrowed down to just 3 types: in-kind policy, refund policy, or a combination of these.
- Always check if the care provider you want is approved by the health insurer in order to be able to benefit from a full refund.
- If you are a healthy person who hardly needs care, consider increasing your policy deductible. Ask yourself if you can afford it if you need care unexpectedly.
- A health insurer can refuse you supplementary insurance. However, there are insurers who accept everyone directly and do not apply waiting times.
- Always compare your current insurance with that of all other health insurers. Doing nothing will cost you dearly.
- Carefully review the independence and comprehensiveness of a comparison site.
- With all health insurers, you have a cooling-off period of 14 days after receiving the new policy to cancel the insurance free of charge.
- You do not have to cancel your current health insurance yourself. The new insurer takes care of it for you. It’s easy, right?