Note: the below article is mainly applicable for the Belgian readers.
With 2021 drawing to a close, it is typically a time for reflection. How has the past year been for you? Have you been able to cope with the special circumstances that we’ve been through the past year? And how are your financials looking? Did you manage to achieve the goals you’ve set out to reach?
In a separate post, I will do the above exercise for myself (spoiler alert: I have failed!). In this short article however, I want to zoom in on something that you as well could take as a new year’s resolution for the year to come in 2022, consider revisiting your health insurance or the ‘mutuality’ as we tend to call it.
For those that are unfamiliar with the mazes of Belgian health insurance: let me try to briefly explain it to you. In Belgium, we have a large coverage for our health insurance. Meaning, if we go to the doctor, we pay a (relative small) fee where the government takes a significant portion of the cost for itself. This insurance against the health costs is mandatory in Belgium, however, there are different organizations (or ‘mutualities’) that manage this. If it is mandatory, then why are there different ones?
Because they offer different advantages (at different costs). Hence, you can adjust your choice based on the cost and advantages they offer you, and this can make a significant difference in your budget. A lot of people however are at their mutuality for historic reasons, without comparing the advantages and costs. Including, up until a while ago, myself.
That changed however when I again got my yearly letter asking me for my contribution. Soon, 54 euros had vanished from my account. Historically, I have always been at CM; my mother was and when I crossed the threshold of having to pay for it myself it was very convenient that I just basically had to confirm my membership without any hassle. I did not look at any of the advantages they offered.
Not that I missed out; I recently scrolled down the list. Since I do not have any children, do not need any care at home or am not part of a registered club to practice sports quite frankly all of the things they offer on top are not really relevant for me. Yet I pay for them. For a moment I thought I was eligible for a 15 euro cashback since I play in an amateur indoor futsal sports club, but since we are not registered also that sum slipped away from my hands. That being said: I always looked at it from a ‘you win some you lose some’-way.
My girlfriend for instance has always been at VNZ, where she gets a significant refund for her glasses (and she does not spent too much on those, she gets them nearly for free!).
That being said, I also stumbled on HZIV. They are the only one in Belgium that actually do not charge any additional fee! For me, this is excellent, since I do not make use of the benefits of the others. As soon as it is possible, I will say goodbye to CM and HZIV can welcome me as a new member of their family.
However, keep in mind your particular situation. Especially when expecting a child, a lot of these organizations shower you with presents and money. It can be worthwhile to have a look! CM already gives quite a lot, but it is the LM that really hits a home run when considering the expansion of your family. These run up into several hundreds of euro’s! Have a look at the examples here*.
*Note: these are subject to change over time and depend on the region you live.
There we go! I hope you found this short post useful. What about you? At what insurance are you and what is the reason behind it? Are you considering changing? Feel free to leave a reply here below!
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