Home country healthcare insurance

When you come to the Netherlands as an international student you have to be well insured. Especially since everybody that lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out basic health care insurance. But when do you need to apply for Dutch health care insurance and when can you keep your current health care insurance from your own country? That main question and other important points of attention will be answered and explained to you in this article.

When can I keep the healthcare insurance from my home country?

The Netherlands participates in several healthcare insurance treaties within the European Union. Therefore it is possible, in certain cases, to keep your home country healthcare insurance. The main rule is that students that live in the Netherlands for study purposes only are exempt from taking out basic Dutch healthcare insurance. However, you can only keep the insurance from your home country if you meet all the following requirements:

  • You are an international student (non-EU/EAA or EU/EEA including Swiss nationals);
  • Your stay in the Netherlands is temporary;
  • Besides your studies, you are not working (this includes part-time and casual/zero hour contracts);
  • Furthermore, you’re not doing a paid internship (receiving at least minimum wage and/or expenses);
  • Last but not least, your home country insurance (or private international health insurance) sufficiently covers your stay in the Netherlands.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

As a EU/EAA or Swiss student, to be able to prove that you are well insured in your home country your insurance company can issue you an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can receive this card free of charge from your insurance company. The EHIC card entitles you to the same medical care as residents of The Netherlands. You are not obliged to take out any supplementary insurance.

Minimum wage and expenses during paid internship

In case you receive renumeration from your internship, a minimum wage or expenses, you might have to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance. In that case you are considered insured under the Wlz-scheme. On this page of the website of the Dutch government you can find information regarding minimum wages in the Netherlands. Paid expenses, for example living expenses and housing, can be considered as renumeration as well. If you are unsure about your situation, you can request an assessment from the SVB (Social Security).

When do I need to get a Dutch healthcare insurance?

Dutch citizens are obliged to have a basic healthcare insurance. As explained above, for international students different rules apply. In the following situations you are obliged to take out Dutch health care insurance:

  • You are a student with a (part-time or casual) job in the Netherlands;
  • You are doing a paid internship in the Netherlands and receive at least the minimum wage and/or expenses;

If any of the above mentioned applies to you, you are required to take out basic Dutch healthcare insurance. You will not be able to keep your own insurance from your home country. If you have the obligation to take out an insurance but you do not, you risk a fine from the ‘CAK’. You can apply for the basic healthcare insurance with any Dutch insurance company. The insurance companies are obliged to accept you. For the insurance you pay a fixed premium directly to the insurance company. This premium will be around €100,- a month. The exact price depends on the insurance company and the amount of deductible excess you choose.

Healthcare allowance

If you are obliged to take out Dutch healthcare insurance, you might be entitled to compensation for your insurance costs. This is called health care allowance. Read more about the health care allowance.

What if I’m a student from outside the European Union?

Are you are a student from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland? If you’re not going to work or do a paid internship in The Netherlands and your stay is temporary, you can keep your home country insurance. Always check if your actual insurance covers your stay in The Netherlands. If this is not the case, you will have to take out private healthcare insurance for your stay in the country.

The insurance will usually cover the costs for medical care in The Netherlands, liability and luggage. Trips back to your home country (with a maximum of 21 days) are also covered. For more information regarding the premium and coverage we refer you to our page ‘private healthcare insurances‘.