To do before the year 2017 ends
To do before the year ends
It is almost 2018. 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 2018? (e.g., taxes, marriages, preschool and environmental zones in Amsterdam)
– SWITCH HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER:
In the Netherlands everyone is obliged to have health care insurance.
Before 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, which is probably one of the most objective websites. 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.
Be aware, the ‘eigen risico’ (own risk) of 385 euros 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 euros on health care; you pay this 150 Euro and not 385 euros.
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 ‘zorgtoeslag’; a contribution towards the costs for health care.
– CHECK CHILD CARE BENEFITS (=kinderopvangtoeslag)
Good news: for most parents the tax rebate for daycare will go up in 2018.
Don’t forget to inform the tax office (=Belastingdienst) of any changes in your child care situation. Think new hourly fees in 2018; more/less hours your child will spend at daycare; 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 2018?
Other tax related issues that will change in 2018 you’ll find here.
For Amsterdammers the city taxes will go down a bit, while the tourist taxes will go up.
Marriages: Currently, newlyweds are automatically married in Community of Property. From 1 January 2018 this is going to change. From then, new couples will automatically enter a prenuptial agreement (=huwelijkse voorwaarden). They will have to write down carefully what their possessions and debts were before they got married, and how much they obtain during their marriage. If you prefer to keep all properties in common instead, you would have to go to see a notary.
Preschools in Amsterdam: From 1 January 2018 there won’t be separate daycares and preschools anymore in Amsterdam. There will only be daycares with and without a preschool program. All children are entitled to 15 hours of daycare with preschool program per week, spread out over three days. There will not be free preschool anymore; all parents will have to pay a contribution. The fee depends on the household income of the parents. More info you can read on the website of the municipality of Amsterdam.
Good news for the environment: From January there will be an ‘environment zone’ (milieuzone) for scooters and mopeds older than 2010. This means that these scooters and mopeds are not allowed to enter the city of Amsterdam. Neither buses, touring cars and taxis which run on diesel are allowed within the A10 anymore.
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NEW2NL: LOOKING FORWARD TO NAVIGATING YOU THROUGH 2018!