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Health insurance in The Netherlands: What? Why? How?
Health insurance in The Netherlands: What? Why? How?

Have you relocated to the Netherlands? You will require a Dutch health insurance.

Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out a Dutch health insurance. Here is some useful information that can help you get started.

What is a Dutch health insurance?

In the Netherlands, everyone is required to have at least a basic health insurance. Basic insurance coverage is the same across all insurance companies and is set yearly by the Dutch government. The basic Dutch health insurance is used to cover costs of common medical services, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication.

In addition to the basic health insurance, you may opt to take out additional insurance to cover for costs not included in the standard package, for example, physiotherapy or dental care.

Why do I need a Dutch health care insurance?

In the Netherlands, the healthcare system is based on the principle of solidarity. Health care is funded by all citizen through taxation of income and mandatory health insurance fees. As a result, Dutch healthcare has become an accessible social service.

Everyone working or living in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out a Dutch health insurance. This insurance must be taken out within four months of receiving your residence permit, or within four months of your registration at the municipality.

How to apply for a Dutch health care insurance

You are free to pick your own health insurance provider, taking your personal circumstances and preferences into consideration.

The following sites offer comparison tools to find an affordable Dutch health care insurance matching your requirements.

The following are relevant topics to take into account when applying for your Dutch health care insurance.

Choose your ‘own risk’

Basic health insurance in the Netherlands comes with a certain amount of ‘own risk’ (eigen risico). Currently this amount is set at a minimum of €385 up to a maximum of €885 a year. The ‘own risk’ is what you have to pay for health care yourself before the insurance company starts covering.

You decide how high you wish to set your ‘own risk’. If you don’t expect to use a lot of health care, it’s probably wise to set it a bit higher. Doing so can drastically reduce your monthly payment.

Choose your basic plan

The basic health insurance comes in three different plans. Each plan offers a different bandwidth of choice in healthcare providers (hospitals, specialist or physical therapists) that you can use for your health care.

Choose your dental care coverage

Dental care is not covered by the basic health insurance. If you plan on visiting a dentist or if you expect dental problems, it’s wise to get additional dental insurance.

Choose our additional coverage plan

Additional coverage plans cover care such as physical therapy, alternative health care, glasses or lenses and world coverage. Additional coverage can increase your monthly premium, so consider whether you need this.

In practice, many of our expats have always taken out the compulsory standard health insurance and used additional medical facilities in their country of origin.

Good to know about your Dutch health care insurance

  • The Dutch healthcare system is ranked as the second best in Europe (only behind Switzerland) in the Euro Health Consumer Index (2018).

  • Children under 18 receive free coverage under their parents’ Dutch health care insurance plan.
  • You may only change your health care insurance provider once per year, for the following year. The deadline to switch to a new health care insurance provider is December 31.
  • If you are on a low income, you may be eligible to have your monthly health insurance premiums (partly) covered by a government supported healthcare allowance.

Posted on woensdag 29 april 2020
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