Dutch health insurance: what you should know

Posted on Posted in Financing, Part-time jobs, Student life

If you are planning to study and live in The Netherlands, you may want to know certain things about the Dutch healthcare system and health insurance. Especially, if you want to work besides your studies.

When is Dutch health insurance mandatory?

A Dutch health insurance becomes obligatory when you get a job in The Netherlands. The type of job and the job contract is not relevant, so even an internship or student job will mean you need to apply for health insurance.

A considerable financial penalty is to be paid if you fail to apply for a health insurance within four months after your working contract commences.

If you don’t plan to work besides your studies, your home country insurance will often suffice if you live within the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). However, do make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for medical cover.

If you are not from the EU or EEA you will need to take alternative insurance arrangements, such as private or expat health insurance.

How to apply for health insurance in The Netherlands?

The most convenient way to apply for health insurance in The Netherlands is through the internet. ZorgWijzer.nl offers an English comparison tool that allows you to easily compare different health insurance policies.

Once you have found a suitable insurance you can click through and you will be redirected to the insurance company’s website. There you can easily apply for the insurance online.

Do note that most Dutch insurers only offer a Dutch application page. So it might be smart to ask a Dutch speaking fellow student to assist you. Google translate is also an option.

How much does it cost?

Dutch healthcare is funded mainly through income tax and premiums. Income tax will be automatically held back by your employer, so you don’t really need to worry about that.

Premiums however, will have to be paid each month to the health insurance company through a (automatic) bank transaction. The average premium for standard health insurance is around 100 euro per month.

Zorgtoeslag (financial compensation)

Luckily, most students with a job will be eligible for zorgtoeslag, which is a governmental financial compensation for healthcare insurance. The zorgtoeslag usually amounts to 88 euro per month for students.

You can apply for zorgtoeslag after you have arranged your health insurance. Go to the website of the Dutch tax authorities (de Belastingdienst) for claiming financial support. Ask a Dutch colleague or co-student to assist you.

What does it cover?

The basic Dutch health insurance (basisverzekering), which has the legal minimum cover, already insures a substantial amount of medical expenses, such as:

  • Visits and treatments by a general practitioner (GP)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Hospital care
  • Consults, treatments and operations in a clinic or hospital
  • Emergency medical care in The Netherlands and abroad (up to Dutch tariffs)
  • Medical aids
  • Psychological healthcare

If desired, all insurance companies offer supplemental insurance policies that cover, for example:

  • Dental care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Alternative therapies
  • Optical (eye) care

More information about healthcare insurance in The Netherlands can be found on this page.