Why are premiums increasing?
For 80 years, we have been there for people with extraordinary stories and want to be properly insured. This includes you. And we want to carry on doing this. That’s why we need to check every year whether we are receiving enough premiums to pay the costs that have been declared. This may mean that we too are unable to avoid having to increase our premiums.
Medical expenses continue to rise
Globally, medical expenses are continuing to rise. It would be nice if we could see at a glance which costs are involved. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. However, when it comes to increases in healthcare costs, we are seeing the same top three across the globe:
- Ailments and complaints associated with the aging population
- The high cost of clinical and outpatient care
- Prescribing medication too quickly and sometimes unnecessarily
It looks rather vague when you read it like that, because what are clinical and outpatient costs, for example? These are in fact all medical interventions, operations and emergency care, with or without an overnight stay in hospital.
Globally, we all getting older
Around the world, citizens are getting much older than a hundred years or so ago. Unfortunately, not everyone is a 'healthy' pensioner. This is why the premium goes up as you get older, not on every birthday but in five-year increments. These days, people are sometimes referred to a specialist too quickly, when this is not actually necessary, or a patient is given antibiotics where a paracetamol would have sufficed.
Worldwide, we also share the same top three when it comes to the most common (non-transmittable) diseases:
- Cancer (75%)
- Cardiovascular diseases (67%)
- Pulmonary diseases (40%)
Health insurers do not expect this to change in the next five years. However, it is expected that work-related stress will continue to increase and that medical costs as a result of this will rise and end up in the top three.
Restricting medical expenses
Restricting medical expenses is, therefore, also at the top of our priority list. In the United States, for example, we recently started working with Aetna (a US health insurer). This allows us to make use of their network of healthcare providers. Because contracts are agreed with multiple healthcare providers, these medical costs are reduced and so we do not have to make huge increases in premiums.
Where other health insurers set limits on medical treatment, we prefer to invest in local networks. This enables us to not only ensure you receive the best care, but also that the treatment is fully reimbursed. Of course, we take your own excess amount into account. If it is sometimes cheaper to carry out a treatment in the Netherlands, we will be happy to arrange this for you. This is how we try to reduce costs and give you the care you deserve.
How things are done
We know how things are done in most countries when it comes to health care costs. Because we invest in local visits, we can see with our own eyes why sometimes a public hospital provides better care than a private clinic. We talk to doctors and specialists in public and private hospitals. If possible, we'll also call you as our client, to listen to what issues you’re facing. We collect this information and, where possible, process it in our insurance policies. This helps us provide you with better information about the best local care.
We remain alert and keep a close eye on global healthcare costs.
Because we want to continue paying your healthcare costs, wherever you are.
Source: Willis Towers Watson
Best Regards Chantal Deen,