To do before the year ends
It is almost 2017. This means there are only a few days left to make some important changes; if they apply to your situation:
Things to do before the year ends:
- Switch health insurance provider
- Check child care benefits (=kinderopvangtoeslag)
- What else will change in 2017?
SWITCH HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER:
In the Netherlands everyone is obliged to have health care insurance.
January 1st is one of the rare occasions that you may switch to a different health insurance provider. There are many websites where you can compare the insurances, for example the Consumentenbond. The best offer depends on your personal situation, your family composition, and what type of care you need.
Health insurance consists of three parts: basic insurance (=basisverzekering), the optional additional insurance (=aanvullende verzekering), and dental insurance (=tandheelkundige zorg).
The contents of the basic insurance have been assembled by the government and are the same for every insurance company.
There are various additional insurance packages that offer you more coverage, for a higher monthly fee. The insurance companies establish the contents of these packages and the corresponding fees themselves. It might be worth to compare their prices and coverages.
Be aware, the ‘eigen risico‘ (own risk) of €385 has been decided by the government and is the same for every basic insurance. This means that you have to pay the first €385 of your health care consumption yourself. For some treatments, like the GP (=huisarts), midwife (=verloskundige), and dental care (=tandarts) for children up to 18yo, the own risk doesn’t apply (they are always covered).
If you don’t make much use of health care, you’ll only have to pay parts of the own risk – if you only declare 150 Euro on health care; you pay this 150 Euro and not 385 Euro.
On top of that you can choose for a higher voluntary own risk (=vrijwillig eigen risico), which will lower your monthly fee.
Please note: most insurance companies offer the possibility to spread the payments of the eigen risico over the year (=gespreid betalen), so you don’t have to pay 385 euros at once.
Some treatments you have to pay partly yourself (=eigen bijdrage). For example, some insurances only cover max. 45 euros per person per day for alternative medicine. The rest of the costs you’ll have to pay yourself.
Sometimes you can get a collective discount (=collectiviteitskorting) through your employer or (charity) organization.
Then you also have the choice between a restitutiepolis, a naturapolis, a combinatiepolis, and budgetpolis. Of these four insurances the restitutiepolis is most expensive, but it gives you the freedom to select the health care provider or hospital that you like. The naturapolis is cheaper, but you can only go to those health care providers with which your insurance company has a contract – you would like to check this beforehand. The budget insurance is the cheapest of the three, but here your options for providers are much more limited, and you’ll have to arrange most insurance issues online. The combinatiepolis is a combination of the naturapolis and the restitutiepolis.
Please note: in case of emergency you can always go to any hospital.
People with a lower income may qualify for a ‘zorgtoeslag’; a contribution towards the costs for health care.
– CHECK CHILD CARE BENEFITS (=kinderopvangtoeslag)
Good news: for most parents the tax rebate for day care will go up in 2017.
Don’t forget to inform the tax office (=Belastingdienst) of any changes in your child care situation. Think new hourly fees in 2017; more/less hours your child will spend at day care; switch to after-school care (=BSO); but also any expected changes in your household income. If you provide the tax office with the correct information beforehand, you won’t risk paying back parts of the rebate at the end of the year. You can apply for the tax rebate and make your changes (wijzigingen) on the website of the Belastingdienst. Login with your DigId.
On www.belastingdienst.nl/rekenhulpen/toeslagen you can make a trial calculation of how much rebate you could expect. The number of hours that you are entitled to day care support also depends on the number of hours that you (and your partner) work: multiply the amount of hours that the least working parent works by 140% for daycare, and 70% for after-school care (BSO). The maximum amount of hours for the rebate is 230 hours per month.
– WHAT ELSE WILL CHANGE IN 2017?
Other tax related issues that will change in 2017 you’ll find here.
De Volkskrant has also published a good overview of the financial chances in 2017. Most employees will profit from some extra tax rebates coming year; this probably has to do with the elections coming up in March…
The tax office, as well as many other government organizations, will communicate with you more and more online rather than via the infamous blue envelops. Create your account via https://mijn.overheid.nl.
Many Americans in Amsterdam will be pleased to hear that Dunkin’ Donuts will open store here soon.
The British are probably a bit less happy when Marks and Spencer’s will close. Maybe the new, direct high speed train connection between Amsterdam and London can sooth the pain a bit…
NEW2NL: LOOKING FORWARD TO NAVIGATING YOU THROUGH 2017!