If you live in the Netherlands, you are most likely subject to the Dutch social security legislation. This means that you are obliged by law to take out a Dutch health insurance which provides coverage for healthcare costs and meets the requirements of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Dutch Health Insurance Act).
Even if you are already insured for health care costs in your own country, you must still take out health insurance in the Netherlands. There are a few exemptions, you can contact the Sociale Verzekerings Bank, SVB, for more information.
There are also a number of cases in which you are not subjected to Dutch social security legislation, because of the purpose and duration of stay (posted workers, students etc.). Read more about this in the Exceptions to obliged Dutch Health Insurances section.
How to take out a health insurance?
You must take out a health insurance from a health insurance provider yourself. Your employer may offer collective health insurance at reduced rates. The health care covered by the basic health insurance package is the same for every health insurance provider. The premiums payable may vary, as well as the optional additional insurance package you may choose. Children under the age of 18 do not pay a premium, however, you must register them with a health insurance provider too. The average monthly premium per person, as from the age of 18, is € 125,-.
The health care covered by the standard package includes care by general practitioners and specialists, hospital care, medicines, dental care up to the age of 18 and natal care. Each year, there is a compulsory excess of € 385,-. This means that you will have to pay the first € 385 towards your health care costs yourself. This excess applies per person, except for children up to the age of 18. The compulsory excess does not apply for general practitioner care, natal care, maternity care and the dental care youth package for young people up to the age of 18. On top of the excess, you may be charged a contribution for costs made that are not covered by your standard or additional health insurance. In addition, you may voluntarily increase this excess up to € 885, in order to receive a reduction on the payable health care premiums. Please discuss the possibilities with the health care insurance company.
Depending on your income, you may be eligible for health care allowance to cover part of the monthly premium.
You can find more information on the health care insurance system in the Netherlands on the website of the Ministry of Health.
What happens if you take out insurance too late?
If you take out a health care insurance too late, you will not be insured, and you will have to pay all medical costs yourself. Retrospectively, you will have to pay the premiums for the past period and may get a penalty as well. This also applies to family members living in a treaty country who register too late.
What happens if you resign or are dismissed from your job?
If you do no longer reside in the Netherlands, or you no longer work in the Netherlands and live abroad, you are no longer covered by Dutch social security legislation. Following, you must terminate the health care insurance yourself.