To do before the year ends

To do before the year ends

It is almost 2016. This means there are only a few days left to make some important changes; if they apply to your situation:

To do before the year ends:
– Switch health insurance provider
– Check child care benefits (=kinderopvangtoeslag)
– What else will change in 2016?

In the Netherlands everyone is obliged to have health care insurance.
Before the beginning of the new year is of the rare occasions that you can make the switch to a new health insurance provider. There are many websites where you can compare the insurances, for example on the Consumers’ Association’s website. The best offer depends on your personal situation, your family composition, and what type of care you need.

The insurance consists of three parts: basic insurance (=basisverzekering), additional insurance (=aanvullende verzekering), and dental insurance (=tandheelkundige zorg).
The contents of the basic insurance have been assembled by the government and is the same for every insurance.
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 fees themselves. It is 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 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 Euro at once.
Some treatments you partly have to pay yourself (=eigen bijdrage). For example, some insurances only cover max. 45 Euro 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, more info you can read on this website.
Then you also have the choice between a restitutieverzekering, a naturaverzekering, and budget verzekering.
Of these three insurances the restitutieverzekering is most expensive, but it gives you the freedom to select the health care provider or hospital that you like.
The naturaverzekering 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.
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. See also the Belastingdienst website.

CHECK CHILD CARE BENEFITS (=kinderopvangtoeslag)
For most parents the day care benefits will go up next year.
Don’t forget to inform the tax office (=Belastingdienst) of any changes in your child care situation. Think new hourly fees in 2016; 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) here  (login with your DigId).
On 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.
– Other tax related issues that will change in 2016 you’ll find here.
The tax office will communicate with you more and more online, rather than via the infamous blue envelops. Create your account via

Also, towards the end of March 2016 the 17 millionth citizen will be born in the Netherlands.



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