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How much does this cost?

by Marthijn Uittenbogaard


Recently I subscribed to a Dutch magazine called De Groene Amsterdammer. First I took a trial subscription, meaning eight issues for a reduced price. Then they called me if I wanted a real subscription. That's how they work, they call if you filled in your phone number, otherwise they send you a letter by mail. The price of a subscription is 185 euro's for one year. But on the phone they said that if I decided within a week then my subscription would cost me only 12,50 euro's a month (150 euro's a year). So you pay not the same as someone who took a subscription right away.

I had a health insurance by the company Het Zilveren Kruis. When I still had a job I was offered a reduced so called group membership. Insurance companies make such deals with a lot of companies that have many employees. When I lost my job - due to my activism - I was offered to keep this reduced membership fee. Of course, I rarely visit a doctor or have other health care costs. If I would be someone with a costly decease I'm sure they would not offer me a reduced membership anymore.

Last year I saw on the internet an interview with the head of an insurance company called DSW. DSW is the largest health care organization of the smaller ones. We have some large companies and many much smaller companies. When you get sick you can pay your own bills. But not if the costs are too high of course. Or you will loose half your money/your house et cetera. That's why we have insurances. The high costs we pay collectively and hopefully you will pay less then what you will cost. No one likes being sick. But the large insurance companies don't think this way: they want to make as much profit as possible so they advertise with deals that you don't pay for what you don't need! And they want you, only if you are of financial use to them! DSW is principally against reduced membership fees for groups. Why pay more when you have a one person business and pay less when you are working for lets say Philips? I changed from Zilveren Kruis to DSW and now I pay somewhat more then I used to do. I highly recommend you do the same.

What I also does not like is that some insurance companies advertise with alternative therapy, knowing many people believe in witch craft. Or customers that reason I have a right to x sessions of this therapy and then use it without needing it. Shopping what you need, for the lowest prize. While insurances are for the higher costs. So I'm in favor of a fixed own contribution when you have health-care costs above the yearly subscription costs. All insurance companies have this own contribution on top of the membership costs. That's the law. But you can set this amount of money higher and in return pay slightly less membership fee.

When you buy a washing machine the prize is lets say 400 euro's. But when you ask can I buy it for 350 then a lot of times you get it cheaper. I don't like this because modest people then usually pay more. Many companies are doing this. I don't like it. When you have a reduced membership fee for students for instance I can understand it. But having different fees behind the scenes is just wrong in my opinion.

21 July 2016