Is it wise to increase your level of excess?

If you have been living for some time in the Netherlands, you should be able to check how much healthcare providers have charged you (or in most cases your insurance provider directly). Your insurance provider should be able to provide you with the total of claims made under your policy. It should also be indicated what costs are subject to excess. These were cost you have ended up paying yourself to the maximum of your excess level.
If you expect that the level of claims for the next year will not be (much) higher than the level of your current excess, it may be attractive to opt for a higher level of excess.

If you are new to the Netherlands and expect to be needing little or no healthcare that is covered by Basic Health Insurance, going for a higher level of excess may also be to your advantage.



  • if your current level of excess is 385 € and
  • the total claims subject to excess in the current year are 450 €
  • You’ll save € 175 (= 240 € – € 65) in the next year if you opt for the maximum level of excess (€ 385 mandatory excess + € 500 voluntary excess = € 885 total excess): You’ll save 240 € in premium (assumption) but will have to pay the extra costs not covered (450 € – € 385 = € 65)

Beware however: You cannot predict for sure what may happen to you. If you  incur considerable higher costs of healthcare, you should be able to pay the additional charges of € 500, being the difference between the maximum excess (€ 885) and the mandatory excess (€ 385). Of course you have already saved € 240, so your risk is ‘only’ € 260, but you still may not have the money at hand when you get this 500 € charge. If other family members (over 18 years in age) are also insured on your policy your ‘risk’ increases as they all may have more healthcare cost that predicted.