Do you live or work in the Netherlands? Then you are required, under the Health Insurance Act ( Zorgverzekeringswet), to get health insurance. As an expat you have to take out Dutch health insurance within four months after you receive your residence permit. This health insurance is compulsory.
Mandatory health insurance
The Dutch healthcare system is based on the fact that everyone (there are exceptions) has to take out mandatory health insurance. The government has a lot of say in the insurances and health care system, but does not manage it. Insurance companies are private and all have their own policies and regulations, so it’s best to compare different ones.
There is no “best” health insurance, it depends on the type and amount of healthcare you consume. At the end of each year (deadline: December 31st) you can change your health insurer.
You will have to pay your insurer a monthly fee (which is called premie). This fee depends on the insurance plan you choose. Every insurer has different plans, with different fees and different covering. Then, there is also the deductible (eigen risico). That is an annual amount you have to pay out of your own pocket, to cover the first medical costs up to €385. You have the choice to increase your ‘eigen risico’ and get a deduction on your monthly premium.
Exempt from the deductible: Anything within the GP practice, dental care under the age of 18, anti-conception under the age of 21, pregnancy care, state-run preventive care.
If you have to take out mandatory health insurance but cannot afford it, you might quality for “Zorgtoeslag” (healthcare benefit) depending on your income.
Mandatory vs. supplementary
Your health insurance consists of mandatory health insurance and supplementary insurance, which is optional. The mandatory coverage is the same for every health insurer, and they cannot refuse you or raise the cost based on your age, gender or medical history.
The supplementary insurance can differ a lot, so it’s advisable to compare them on Zorgwijzer or get personal advice elsewhere.
Mandatory health insurance covers:
- Basic medical care; including care provided by general practitioners, medical specialists and obstetricians
- Dental care up to the age of 18
- Maternity care
- Therapies and dietary advice (with limitations)
- Most medicines and medical devices and products
Supplementary insurance covers:
- Glasses and contact lenses
- Dental care for adults
- Alternative medical products
The monthly premium for the mandatory health insurance is approximately around € 115 (2020). As stated, the supplementary premium differs per health insurer.
Everyone over the age of 18 pays a monthly premium for the mandatory health insurance. Those who are younger than 18 years are insured and do not have to pay any premium or excess. Note that newborns must be registered with a health care insurer within four months after birth.
If you are exempt from the mandatory health insurance, for example international students who do not have a paid internship or job, you can take out private health insurance.
You could rely on your European Health Insurance card, since you are not obligated to take out any additional insurance.
However, most GPs including iHCR do not directly bill them. You will have to pre-pay and take care of reimbursement yourself via Zilveren Kruis. Hospitals might bill your EHIC directly.
Since the EHIC only covers necessary care and a lot of healthcare providers cannot directly bill them, a lot of people choose to take out additional private insurance. Please do your research well and ask these private insurers which doctors in Rotterdam they are contracted with.
iHCR, is currently only contracted with InsureToStudy out of all student insurances. That means that you do not have to pre-pay if you have that insurance, as we will directly bill them.