Dutch basic healthcare insurance

On this page you can find practical information about the Dutch basic healthcare insurance (‘basisverzekering’). For example, what you need in order to apply for a Dutch healthcare insurance and what is covered with this insurance.

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When are you obliged to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance?

Dutch citizens living or working in the country are obliged to take out a basic healthcare insurance. Rule of thumb is that you don’t need to take out basic Dutch health insurance if the sole purpose of your stay is temporarily studying in the Netherlands. There are two possible situations:

  • You are 30+ years: in case you work or live permanently in the Netherlands you are obliged to take out public Dutch healthcare insurance. If you live in the country less than one year, your stay is normally regarded as temporary. However, in case your economic, social and legal base shifts to the Netherlands, your stay is considered permanent. If you’re only going to study you can keep your home country insurance if possible or take out private health insurance. Your personal situation is determined by the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB, the Social Security Office). If you have doubts concerning your situation, you can present your case to the SVB.
  • You are under 30 years old: as a foreign student under the age of 30, you are only obliged to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance if you study and work doing a paid internship (earning at least the minimum wage), (part-time) job or casual contract (zero-hour contract). If you are a EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you can request a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your home country insurance company. With this card you can easily show you are well insured. However, make sure the coverage is sufficient for your stay in the Netherlands.

What do you need to get a Dutch basic healthcare insurance?

If you want to get a Dutch basic healthcare insurance you need a citizen service number (‘burgerservicenummer’). In order to apply for a citizen service number you have to go to your local town hall and register yourself as an inhabitant (‘GBA inschrijving’). This is a database with information about the residents of the Netherlands. If you are from a non-EU country, you first have to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration and Naturalization Service office (IND). To successfully apply for the residents permit you need to bring the following documents:

  • A legalized and certified copy of your birth certificate;
  • Documents allowing you to prove that you have a permanent place to live (for example a rental contract);
  • A valid passport;

The next step is, after being successfully registered at the IND, a visit to the town hall of your local municipality. Here you need to be registered as a new inhabitant to obtain a citizen service number. Now you are ready to compare Dutch health care insurances and pick the one that best suits your personal needs.

What is covered with a basic healthcare insurance?

The coverage of the basic healthcare is determined by the Dutch government. That means the coverage is the same at all the different health insurance companies. In short, the basic healthcare insurance covers:

  • Hospital admission & care
  • General practitioner medical consults & treatments
  • Medical aids (limited)
  • Medication (limited)
  • Treatments & operations by medical specialists
  • Psychological treatment (GP and specialists with a reference)
  • Emergency treatments abroad (Dutch rates)
  • Maternity care (limited)
  • Physiotherapy (only for people with chronic conditions)
  • Treatment of speech-language pathologies
  • Occupational therapy
  • Transport with ambulance
  • Diet & eating advice
  • Dental care until the age of 18 years

If you need additional coverage, you can take out supplementary health insurance for:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Medical care abroad for treatment costs above Dutch rates
  • Orthodontics
  • Alternative healing therapies
  • Glasses & lenses
  • Dental care
  • Birth control
  • Vaccination

Choose a Dutch basic healthcare insurance

In order to make it easier for you to decide which Dutch basic healthcare insurance best fits your needs, we’ve compared all the student healthcare insurances and made a top 5 of basic healthcare insurances.

Obligatory Deductible Excess

The obligatory deductible excess changes every year. In 2020 this excess is €385,-. Before your insurance policy will cover certain medical expenses, like hospital admission, an obligatory deductible excess is charged. The amount of excess is only charged once and applies only to certain medical expenses. Fortunately, the obligatory deductible excess does not apply to all types of medical care. Exempted are, for example, appointments with your general practitioner, obstetric care and maternity care.

Voluntary deductible excess

You can also choose for a higher voluntary deductible excess by increasing the obligatory deductible excess (€385,-) up to €500,- to a maximum of €885,-. This will result into a lower monthly premium, although it also implies that you’ll have to pay the first € 885,- of certain medical expenses. The higher the voluntary deductible excess, the lower the premium you have to pay for your healthcare insurance.

A calculation example:

Your medical care expenses are €800,- and you have a voluntary deductible excess of €200,-. You have to pay the obligatory deductible excess of €385,- plus the voluntary deductible excess of €200,-. The healthcare insurance company will pay you €215,- of the total medical care expenses. If you would need more medical treatment, all costs will be covered that year since you’ve already paid the deductible excess once.

Healthcare allowance

You might be eligible for ‘zorgtoeslag’ or healthcare allowance in the Netherlands. This means you can receive financial aid from the Dutch government to pay the monthly premium and deductible excess, created to help out lower income groups like students.

More information about the requirements of the ‘zorgtoeslag’ can be found on our page about healthcare allowance.

Collective healthcare insurance

The possibility exists that your educational institution or other association made a deal with a healthcare insurance company. There are also collectivities for students that offer discounts on the premium, for example Studenten Goed Verzekerd from Zilveren Kruis. Want to know more? Compare our top 5 student healthcare insurances or contact your educational institution.