Dutch Public Health Insurance and How it Works

Everyone living in the Netherlands is obliged to have a health insurance – also highly skilled migrants, expats and foreign students. Although it is mandatory to have health insurance in the Netherlands, there are certain conditions which determine if you are eligible for Dutch public health insurance, or not.

In this article we will explain to you the Dutch health insurance system, how it affects you and we will answer your most important question, ‘Do I need Dutch health insurance?’.

The Dutch Health Care System

The Dutch government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the health care system in the Netherlands. However, they are not in charge of its management. The Dutch health insurance system relies on two laws, the ‘health care insurance law’ (Zorgverzekeringswet) and the ‘general law on exceptional medical expenses’ (Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten). Together they provide a combination of private health plans with social conditions based on solidarity, efficiency and value for the patient.

The Dutch Health Care Insurance Act

Pursuant to the Dutch health care insurance act (Zorgverzekeringswet), all people who live or work in the Netherlands are obliged to have a Dutch health insurance, even if you have medical insurance in your country of origin. The act ensures all Dutch residents have unrestricted rights and access to this basic insurance.

As such, it is legally forbidden for a medical insurance company to refuse your application on the basis of your age or medical history. It is also forbidden to add premiums to the basic insurance plan, although the price may differ per medical insurer.

Dutch Health Insurance for EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens

As a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can use your European Union Health Insurance Card (EHIC) while living in the Netherlands. This only applies when you are staying temporarily (less than a year) and if you do not have a job. In other cases you need a Dutch health insurance. As soon as you are here for over a year, you need to take out Dutch public health insurance.

Dutch Health Insurance for Non-EU Citizens

As a non-EU citizens staying longer than three months, you will need a residence permit. With a residence permit you are also required to take out the Dutch public health insurance. Some people may need to take out private insurance, depending on personal circumstances.

ZORGVERZEKERINGSWET


'All people who live or work in the Netherlands are obliged to have a Dutch health insurance, even if you have medical insurance in your country of origin'

Dutch Health Insurance for Students

If you are a student living in the Netherlands, Dutch health insurance becomes mandatory once you have a part-time job, paid internship and zero-hour casual contracts. Foreign students without a job, who are not EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, are not eligible to take out Dutch health insurance. However, you still need to arrange your own private insurance, unless this is already covered by an acceptable insurer in your home country.

Dutch Health Insurance for Children

If you are a student living in the Netherlands, Dutch health insurance becomes mandatory once you have a part-time job, paid internship and zero-hour casual contracts. Foreign students without a job, who are not EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, are not eligible to take out Dutch health insurance. However, you still need to arrange your own private insurance, unless this is already covered by an acceptable insurer in your home country.

Types of Dutch Health Insurance

There are two types of health insurances in the Netherlands:

  • Compulsory basic health insurance (basisverzekering)
  • Private health insurance / additional insurance coverage (aanvullende verzekering)

Basic Health Insurance

While the health insurance you choose can vary considerably in terms of its coverage, a good place to start is with the basic insurance (known as basisverzekering). The basic insurance package covers all costs for common medical care services. The government makes periodic changes to what is covered by the basic health insurance, but the present coverage includes:

  • medical care, including care provided by general practitioners, medical specialists and obstetricians
  • hospital treatment
  • prescribed medication
  • dental care for those up to 18 years old
  • maternity care
  • certain physiotherapy, exercise therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietary advice
  • help with stopping smoking.

UNRESTRICTED RIGHTS AND ACCESS


'It is legally forbidden for a medical insurance company to refuse your application on the basis of your age or medical history'

Private Health Insurance / Additional Insurance Coverage

If the Dutch basic health insurance does not cover your medical treatments, you will have to take out private health insurance. You can also take out cover for extra treatments. There are many services that are (partially) covered by the private health insurer, such as:

  • dental care for adults over 18
  • emergency health care for travel abroad
  • vaccinations
  • contraception
  • glasses and contact lenses
  • hearing aids
  • alternative medical treatments.

The Health Insurance Costs

There are two main costs you must pay for your Dutch health insurance:

  • The monthly premium (premie), a fixed fee that is deducted from your bank account each month.
  • The deductible (eigen risico, or ‘own risk’), which is an annual amount that you must pay for some treatments and medicines before your health insurance will cover the rest. In 2019, this amount is € 385. If you do not have any medical costs in a year, you do not have to pay a deductible.

The system is funded through these mandatory health insurance fees and taxation of income.

Arranging Medical Insurance

When arranging health care insurance, you can take the following steps:

  • Apply for a health insurance within the first four months of your stay in the Netherlands
  • Do some research
  • Find out which health insurer fits your needs and budget
  • Register with a health insurance company. When you register with a health insurer you will have to provide a number of documents and some personal information. The insurance company also needs to know for sure that you work or live in the Netherlands. When you apply for a health insurance make sure you have the following things:
  • Take your time. Once you have applied, all you need to do is wait. The insurer needs approximately two weeks to process your application.
  • your Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN)
  • a copy of your passport
  • a copy of your residence permit
  • a copy of your employment agreement
  • if your family is moving with you to the Netherlands, you will need to send this information too
  • Take your time. Once you have applied, all you need to do is wait. The insurer needs approximately two weeks to process your application.

If You Do Not Have Health Insurance; We Can Help

You know now that during your assignment in the Netherlands you are required to arrange private health insurance. It is possible to arrange this through us. We are able to offer you a deal with HollandZorg, a Dutch medical insurer specialized in health insurances for foreign employees and people who temporarily live or work in the Netherlands. For more info: support@dutchumbrellacompany.com.