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Health insurance is compulsory for everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands. Expats from outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland arriving in the Netherlands must obtain Dutch health insurance within four months of receiving their residence permit, even if they have an existing foreign policy. Citizens of the European Union, EEA or Swiss working in the Netherlands must obtain Dutch health insurance within four months of being registered with the city hall.

The main health insurance companies in the Netherlands

Here is a list of the main Dutch and international health insurance companies:

Dutch health insurance companies

  • LoonZorg (No mandatory excess)
  • ONVZ
  • OHRA
  • UnitedConsumers
  • FBTO
  • Besured
  • Zilveren Kruis
  • ZorgDirect
  • LoonZorg (For international students)

Global health insurance companies

Foyer Global Health
SafetyWing Remote Health (Comprehensive coverage for Bedouin, including COVID-19 treatment)
SafetyWing (travel medical insurance for nomads)

Foreign students and Dutch health insurance

International students are not always required to have Dutch health insurance. Whether or not they are requested depends on several factors, such as the length of the stay, whether they are doing an internship or working, and whether they have insurance in their country of origin. Find out more about Dutch health insurance for international students.

Health insurance options for international students

For foreign students, especially those who are temporary residents, there are three main health insurance options in the Netherlands:

  • Get Dutch health insurance.
  • You have an EU health insurance card if you are an EU citizen.
  • You have private health insurance from your country of origin.

LoonZorg offers two insurance options that cover the most unexpected expenses for international students. Check their insurance policies for students!

The Dutch health insurance system

Unlike many other European systems, the Dutch government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the healthcare system in the Netherlands, but is not responsible for its administration. The Dutch health insurance system is a combination of private health plans with social conditions based on principles of solidarity, efficacy and value for the patient. Health care in the Netherlands is financed by taxes: compulsory health insurance fees and income taxes (predefined tax credits).

Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory if you have been here a long time and is designed to cover the cost of health care. As a general rule, all expats must have Dutch health insurance even if they are already insured on medical care in their home country (for exceptions, see the other health insurance page). Within four months of receiving your residence permit (or registering with the Dutch city hall for EU / EEA citizens), you are subject to Dutch social security legislation and therefore must obtain a basic health insurance package (baseverzekering).

Premium costs and risic eigen

There are two main costs you will have to pay for your Dutch health insurance:

  • Monthly fee (premium), a fixed fee that is deducted from your bank account each month.
  • The risk eigen is an annual out-of-pocket payment for some treatments and medications before your health insurance covers the rest. In 2020, the price of the risic eigen is a maximum of 385 euros. If you have no medical costs per year, you will not pay any fees.

What if I don't get health insurance?

If you do not get basic Dutch health insurance within four months and the government finds that you are not covered, you will receive a letter from the CAK asking you to sign up for health insurance within three months.
If you do not take out health insurance during this period, CAK will impose a fine (€ 410.49 in 2020).
If you do not take action after six months, you will receive a second fine for the same amount.
If you still don't get health insurance within nine months of the first letter, CAK will register it with an insurance company on your behalf and they will deduct the monthly premium from your salary.
If you are not sure whether you need to take out health insurance in the Netherlands, you can contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank to check whether your circumstances require you to obtain Dutch health insurance.

If you become ill and do not have medical insurance (Dutch or foreign) to cover treatment in the Netherlands, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself.

Types of Dutch health insurance

There are two types of health insurance in the Netherlands:

  • Basicverzekering
  • Optional additional insurance (aanvullende verzekering).

Dutch and children's health insurance

Children under the age of 18 must also be insured, but their coverage is free, with no monthly premium and without a car.

Children can generally be covered by their parents' insurance company, but it is also possible to choose other providers. In the first month after the child's 18th birthday, you should start paying your monthly premium.

Newborns must register for health insurance within four months of birth.